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The State of Ohio v. Damien D. Beauford

October 6, 2011


Appeal from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas Court, Case No. 10-CR-497D

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hoffman, J.

Cite as State v. Beauford,

JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.





{¶1} Defendant-appellant Damien D. Beauford appeals his conviction and sentence entered by the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, on one count of domestic violence, following a jury trial. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.


{¶2} On August 6, 2010, the Richland County Grand Jury indicted Appellant on one count of domestic violence, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a felony of the third degree. The trial court scheduled the matter for jury trial on December 9, 2010.

{¶3} Prior to trial, the State filed a motion in limine, seeking to prevent Appellant from presenting testimony regarding the fact Sarah Lybarger, the victim, was on probation as the result of a misdemeanor offense she committed against Appellant. The State also sought to exclude the testimony of Lybarger's probation officer. The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion on the morning of trial. At that time, Appellant made an oral motion to exclude the 9-1-1 calls surrounding the incident. The trial court ruled testimony revealing Lybarger was on probation, and one of the conditions of her probation was she was to have no contact with Appellant, was admissible. The trial court found the testimony of Lybarger's probation officer to be not relevant.*fn1 The trial court ruled the 9-1-1 calls were admissible under Evid. R. 803(1), present sense impression.

{¶4} Sarah Lybarger testified she and Appellant have a three-year old daughter together (hereinafter referred to as "A"). They lived together for a brief time between September, 2008, and February or March, 2009. Lybarger acknowledged she was on probation. She explained she had been convicted of aggravated menacing in 2008, or 2009, following an incident with Appellant. As a result of the conviction, a no contact order was issued, prohibiting Lybarger from having contact with Appellant, and Appellant from having contact with Lybarger.

{¶5} Lybarger testified on June 22, 2010, she awoke to repeated calls on her phone from a restricted number. When she recognized one of the telephone numbers as belonging to Appellant's father, she answered. Appellant was on the other end of the line. He informed her he was leaving for Indianapolis for a week and wanted to see A. Lybarger agreed to meet Appellant at Liberty Park.

{¶6} Upon their arrival at the park, Lybarger and A exited their vehicle. Appellant exited his vehicle, gave a small item to A, and then started yelling at Lybarger about her dating other men. Appellant grabbed Lybarger's cell phone out of her hand. He placed one hand on her neck, and with his free hand, scrolled Lybarger's phone. Appellant called a number and asked the individual who answered, "Are you f---ing my baby mom? Are you dating my baby mom?" Lybarger was able to break away from Appellant's grasp. She grabbed her phone and started to run to the other side of the park. Appellant caught Lybarger, picked her up by the neck, and slammed her on the ground. Lybarger blacked out momentarily. She suffered injuries to her shoulder and the back of her head.

{¶7} When Lybarger came to, she noticed Appellant had moved his vehicle and was sitting inside it with A. Lybarger approached a black woman who was using a cell phone. Lybarger determined from the context of the woman's conversation, she was on the phone with 9-1-1, and provided the woman with her name. On cross-examination, Lybarger stated she had been released from probation in June, 2009, as she had planned on joining the National Guard. She did not believe she would be in violation of the no contact order if she saw Appellant on the day of the incident. Following the incident, Lybarger was returned to probation because she decided not to join the National Guard.

{ΒΆ8} Lawanda Jefferson, a 9-1-1 operator, testified she was on the 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift on July 22, 2010. The State played the recordings of three 9-1-1 calls received that day. Jefferson identified her own voice as well as the voices of two other dispatchers on duty during her shift. Jefferson answered the first call. The caller informed her of a fight between a boyfriend and girlfriend at Liberty Park, during which the man slammed the woman to the ground. The ...

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