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State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District

September 3, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BRIAN K. SMITH, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from Allen County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CR 2012 0283

Michael J. Short for Appellant

Terri L. Kohlrieser for Appellee

OPINION

SHAW, J.

(¶1} Defendant-appellant Brian K. Smith, Jr., ("Smith") appeals the February 14, 2013, judgment of the Allen County Common Pleas Court sentencing Smith to an aggregate prison term of fifteen years upon Smith's convictions for two counts of Felonious Assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1), both felonies of the second degree, one count of Aggravated Robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(3), a felony of the first degree, and two counts of Kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(3), both felonies of the first degree.[1]

(¶2} The facts relevant to this appeal are as follows. On March 8, 2012, Linsey Knoch ("Knoch") and Christopher Miller ("Miller") were visiting with Knoch's good friend Candace Williams ("Williams") at Williams's residence.[2] At the time, Williams was pregnant with Smith's child. While Knoch and Miller were at Williams's residence, Smith came over. Later, when Williams was already upstairs asleep, Knoch and Smith got into an argument as Knoch called Smith a "dead beat father." Eventually, as the argument continued, Smith became upset and hit Knoch in the head, knocking her to the floor.

(¶3} In an effort to prevent Smith from further assaulting Knoch, Miller attempted to put Smith in a headlock. Smith broke out of the headlock and was infuriated, prompting him to strike Miller numerous times in the head/face area with both his fists. As a result of the strikes, Knoch stated that blood went everywhere. Knoch then attempted to run out the front door, making it as far as the front porch where a neighbor saw her. Smith ran after her and told the neighbor that everything was okay and then Smith dragged Knoch back into the house.

(¶4} Back inside the residence, Smith resumed beating Miller. At some point, Miller fell to the floor and Smith repeatedly kicked Miller in his back and head. Knoch tried to stop Smith from continuing to kick Miller in the head, but Smith head-butted her, knocking her down, causing a large hematoma to develop on her forehead.

(¶5} Smith eventually got a saucepan from the kitchen and repeatedly beat Miller with it, striking Miller with such force that the pan was dented. While Smith beat Miller, Smith yelled at Miller, "If you go down, she gets it, " meaning that if Miller passed out, Smith would start to beat Knoch.

(¶6} At one point, Smith told Miller and Knoch that Smith was going to cut them up into little pieces and bury them in the basement. Smith looked through the kitchen for a knife but did not find one. Smith then grabbed a pizza cutter and slashed at Miller, but the pizza cutter was dull so it did not cut him.

(¶7} After the beatings ceased, Smith forced Miller to wipe his blood off the walls in the living room with a baby wipe, saying to Miller, "Wipe the walls, bitch! I ain't getting caught up from this!" Knoch observed that Miller appeared to barely be conscious, but was complying with the orders that Smith gave him.

(¶8} Eventually, Smith told Miller and Knoch to take their clothes off Knoch talked Smith out of having to take her clothes off, but Miller disrobed, at which point Smith took Miller's money. Knoch then again tried to escape, but Smith put his hand against the door and would not let her out.

(¶9} Smith next ordered Miller upstairs to take a shower to wash the blood off of him, and Knoch went with him. During that time, Smith came up and down the stairs repeating how he was going to cut them up and bury them in the basement. On one of the times up the stairs, Smith threw a wine bottle at Knoch that hit her in the head with such force that it cut her head deeply, going through to the third layer of skin/tissue causing her to bleed profusely. This injury was approximately three inches long and later required 28 sutures to close.

(¶10} While this was going on, Williams, who had been in her room asleep with her children, managed to call one of her friends and had her friend call the police. The police subsequently arrived to Williams's residence and Smith made Knoch and Miller leave the bathroom where Miller had been washing the blood off of him. Smith shoved Miller into a closet, and turned off the lights to the house and told Knoch to "shut the kids up."

(¶11} When no one answered the door, police broke the glass to gain entry into the residence. Knoch then dashed down the stairs with blood all over her forehead and told the officers that "he" was still upstairs. Officers searched the residence and located Smith, who was hiding under a mattress. Smith, who also had active warrants out for his arrest, was arrested. As Smith was being taken out of the house, he passed Knoch and said, "You know you had that coming."

(¶12} Knoch and Miller were taken by ambulance to St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima. Miller had to be placed on life support to aid his breathing and he slipped into a coma. He also suffered a broken rib and a laceration in his nostril that required what the doctor referred to as a "complex repair." Miller's airway was stabilized and he regained consciousness later that evening. After a few days in the hospital, he was released. However, due to nerve damage he suffered, he has permanent injuries to his arms with nerve sensitivity and numbness.

(¶13} Knoch's wound on her head had gone down to the last layer of tissue just before the skull. The Physician's Assistant stated that in his 10 years of ER experience less than 5% of these wounds had involved injuries going down ...


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