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State of Ohio v. Jon Daniels

October 24, 2011

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JON DANIELS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM COMMON PLEAS COURT

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

DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

{¶1} This is an appeal from a Scioto County Common Pleas Court judgment of conviction and sentence. A jury found Jon Daniels, defendant below and appellant herein, guilty of (1) assault in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A)&(C)(3), and (2) obstructing official business in violation of R.C. 2921.31(A)&(B).

{¶2} Appellant assigns the following errors for review: FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR MISTRIAL." SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT ENTERED JUDGMENT AGAINST THE APPELLANT WHEN THE EVIDENCE WAS INSUFFICIENT TO SUSTAIN A CONVICTION AND THE CONVICTION WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE."

THIRD ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION WHEN THE SENTENCE IT IMPOSED WAS BASED ON FACTORS WHICH WERE UNDISCLOSED, AND ON ALLEGATIONS WHICH WERE NEITHER CHARGED NOR TRIED."

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING A SENTENCE CONTRARY TO LAW."

{¶3} On the afternoon of July 17, 2009, the Scioto County Sheriff's Department dispatched Deputy Kevin Metzler to meet Jessica Daniels, appellant's wife, and several of her family members. The purpose of this contact involved serving appellant with a civil protection order and taking custody of the couple's children. At the couple's home, an altercation occurred between Daniels and appellant's mother. As soon as Deputy Metzler got that situation under control, appellant came to the scene and all "chaos" broke loose, with appellant shouting and swearing that he was "not fucking doing this again."

{¶4} After Deputy Metzler ordered Daniels and her family to return to their cars, he focused his attention on calming appellant and his family. Although Deputy Metzler and appellant's own mother advised appellant to calm down, appellant insisted that there "aint [sic] no one taking his fucking kids." When Deputy Metzler stepped onto to the porch to serve the court order, appellant shoved him down the stairs. Although not injured from the shove, Deputy Metzler dropped both his flashlight and the papers that he intended to serve on appellant.

{¶5} On August 19, 2009, the Scioto County Grand Jury returned an indictment that charged appellant with (1) assault on a peace officer in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A)&(C)(3), and

(2) obstructing official business in violation of R.C. 2921.31(A)&(B). Appellant pled not guilty and the matter came on for a two day jury trial.

{¶6} At trial, Deputy Metzler, Jessica Daniels and Faith Pennington (Daniels' mother) recounted their version of the events. The defense, however, offered a diametrically different theory and portrayed Deputy Metzler and Faith Pennington as the aggressors in this incident. Linda Williams, appellant's mother, described how their vehicles came speeding onto the property. Williams also agreed with counsel that the event was similar to the 1993 Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm (ATF) assault in Waco, Texas. Both Williams and appellant characterized Metzler and Pennington as the aggressors. Appellant also denied shoving Metzler, and his denial was corroborated by Matthew Richendollar, a friend, who claimed that he observed the incident.

{ΒΆ7} After hearing the evidence and counsels' arguments, the jury returned guilty verdicts on both charges. The trial court sentenced appellant to serve thirty days in jail, with credit for twenty-nine days already served, together with ...


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