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State of Ohio v. Daniel Malcolm Boyle

December 3, 2012

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DANIEL MALCOLM BOYLE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Municipal Court, Ravenna Division, Case No. R2011 CRB 00435.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Timothy P. Cannon, P.J.

Cite as State v. Boyle,

OPINION

Judgment: Affirmed.

{¶1} Appellant, Daniel Malcolm Boyle, appeals the judgment of the Portage County Municipal Court, Ravenna Division, which, after a bench trial, found him guilty of failure to comply with order or signal of a police officer, a misdemeanor of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2921.331(A). At issue is whether the state presented sufficient evidence to sustain appellant's conviction. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's finding of guilt.

{¶2} Appellant was sentenced to 90 days in the Portage County Jail, which was suspended on certain conditions, and a fine of $250. Appellant filed an appeal and, as his first assignment of error, alleges:

{¶3} "The evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction for Failure to Comply with Police Signal where the appellant safely complied within a reasonable distance and time period and there was no evidence of reckless behavior."

{¶4} An appellate court reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence examines the evidence admitted at trial and determines whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the state, the trier of fact could have found all elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Schlee, 11th Dist. No. 93-L-082, 1994 Ohio App. LEXIS 5862, *13 (Dec. 23, 1994); State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 273 (1991). "On review for sufficiency, courts are to assess not whether the state's evidence is to be believed, but whether, if believed, the evidence against a defendant would support a conviction." State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 390 (1997) (Cook, J., concurring). "In essence, sufficiency is a test of adequacy. Whether the evidence is legally sufficient to sustain a verdict is a question of law." Thompkins, at 386.

{¶5} Appellant was charged with a violation of R.C. 2921.331(A), which states: "No person shall fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic."

{¶6} In State v. Millik, 11th Dist. No. 2005-T-0003, 2006-Ohio-202, ¶13, this court agreed with the Tenth Appellate District that the mental state for a violation of R.C. 2921.331 is recklessness.

{¶7} A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that his conduct is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that such circumstances are likely to exist. R.C. 2901.22(C).

{¶8} Brady Lake Chief of Police David Kinney testified that he was in uniform and in a properly-marked vehicle on March 1, 2011. During this time, Chief Kinney observed a minivan that did not display a front license plate. Chief Kinney testified that when he was approximately one car length behind the minivan, he signaled with his lights, siren, and horn. Chief Kinney noted that although the overhead lights and siren were activated and there was nothing impeding the driver's view of the overhead lights, the minivan did not pull over for approximately 500 feet. Instead, the minivan continued to travel within the residential speed limit, and it eventually pulled into appellant's driveway. Although Chief Kinney admitted that initially there was not a safe place to pull over because the road was narrow, the right side berm widens and there was a large gravel area where the minivan could have pulled over safely.

{ΒΆ9} Appellant also testified. He stated that he observed a police cruiser with its lights activated behind him, but he chose to continue to drive to his driveway. Appellant testified that he did not stop on the side of the road or the gravel area because ...


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