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In re E. C.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 20, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF: E. C. AN ALLEGED DEPENDENT CHILD

Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, Case No. 2122-0047

For Appellee D. MICHAEL MADDOX PROSECUTING ATTORN EYERIN WELCH ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR

For Appellant BRIAN BENBOW BENBOW LAW OFFICES

Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P. J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

OPINION

Wise, J.

{¶1} Appellant E.C., an alleged delinquent child, appeals his adjudication and disposition on a felony obstructing official business charge, entered in the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} At approximately 7:30 a.m. on January 13, 2012, Sherriffs Deputies went to the home of juvenile E.C. for the purpose of arresting him on an outstanding warrant. (T. at 9-10, 16). When they arrived, they found E.C. asleep in his bed. According to the deputies, they woke him up and informed him that they were there to arrest him. (T. at 15). They gave E.C. an opportunity to get dressed but instead, he ran out of the house, without any pants or shoes. (T. at 13-14). Officers described the conditions outside as freezing temperatures, with snow and ice. (T. at 16). Both officers chased after E.C. E.C. fell after he either slipped on the ice or stepped in a frozen puddle. He cut his foot in the fall, which required that he be transported to the Emergency Room where he was treated and received ten stitches. (T. at 47, 97). When the officers caught up to E.C. he said "I give, I give." E.C. and the officers testified that they believed the run to be 400 yards. (T. at 99).

{¶3} Deputy Merry also fell down on the ice. He gave sworn testimony that he fell onto his knees and stomach and described both of his knees as having swelling and lacerations on his left knee from the fall. (T. at 46). He treated his injuries medically with ice, ointment and bandages. (T. at 47). He further testified that he experienced pain on a regular basis for approximately one week and could still feel the deep bruising and soreness in his knees two weeks after. (T. at 50-51). Photographs were offered by the State and entered into evidence, documenting the Deputy's injuries. (T. at 57). These photographs showed swelling and lacerations to the left knee. (T. at 58).

{¶4} On January 19, 2012, as a result of the above events, E.C. was charged, in Case No. 2122-0047, as being a delinquent child by one count of obstructing official business, a fifth degree felony, in violation of R.C. §2921.31 (A) and one count of resisting arrest, a first degree misdemeanor, in violation of R.C. §2921.33(B).

{¶5} On March 22, 2012, this matter proceeded to a hearing before a Magistrate on the counts contained in Case No. 2122-0047.

{¶6} At the Dispositional hearing, sworn testimony was taken from E.C.'s probation officer stating he has had E.C. on probation for "at least a year." (T. at 118). He described E.C.'s compliance with probation rules "sporadic" at best, and explained that he requested a warrant for E.C's failure to report on December 1, 2011. (T. at 119). The probation officer testified E.C. had tested positive for drugs, had been through a drug treatment program, that this was the second time he had run, and stated E.C. was age 17 at the time of trial. (T. at 125).

{¶7} At the conclusion of the trial, following testimony and argument, the Magistrate issued an oral Decision from the bench finding Appellant to be a delinquent child by violation of R.C. §2921.31 (A), a felony of the fifth degree, when committed by an adult.

{¶8} E.C, however, argued that the offenses of obstructing official business and resisting arrest were allied offenses of similar import. (T. at 111). The Magistrate agreed with the Juvenile in that the offenses were allied offenses of similar import, finding that double jeopardy barred adjudication on both counts. (T. at 114). The State then orally dismissed the counts contained in Cases 2112-0755 and 2112-0803 after the Magistrate's oral decision. (T. at 116-117).

{¶9} The Magistrate proceeded forward only on the felony obstructing official business disposition, Case No 2122-0047, which was taken under advisement after brief testimony.

{¶10} On March 26, 2012, the Magistrate issued a written Magistrate's Decision on both the adjudication and the disposition. The Juvenile's Disposition was as follows:

{¶11} 1. A suspended commitment to the Ohio Department of Youth Services for six months to age twenty-one with credit for time served in detention since January 13, 2012;

{¶12} 2. A ninety day detention sentence, with credit for time served in detention since January 13, 2012, to be released on April ...


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