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State v. Hickman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

September 26, 2013

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
SHELDON HICKMAN DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-563592

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Mark E. Porter Gallup & Burns

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Sherrie S. Royster Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

BEFORE: Rocco, P.J., Keough, J., and Kilbane, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

KENNETH A. ROCCO, P.J.

(¶1} Defendant-appellant Sheldon Hickman appeals from his first-degree misdemeanor conviction for child endangering.

(¶2} Hickman presents two assignments of error, claiming his conviction is not supported by either sufficient evidence or by the manifest weight of the evidence. Upon a review of the record, this court cannot agree. His assignments of error, therefore, are overruled, and his conviction is affirmed.

(¶ 3} Hickman originally was indicted in this case on 14 counts as the result of an incident that occurred on June 6, 2012. According to the testimony adduced at Hickman's trial, he lived in the same home with A.F., whom he had known for three to four years. A.F. was the mother of two girls, K.F.[1] and M.F.[2] Hickman provided child care for A.F. "every time [she] had to go to work."

(¶4} A.F. testified that when she arrived home that afternoon to take her children to a "cookout, " she noticed "black and blue marks on their thighs." When she asked Hickman for an explanation, A.F. was told that the children had been playing with the "baby wipes" and had flushed an entire box down the toilet, so Hickman had "whooped" them each with his belt "10 times."

(¶5} The marks became more noticeable during the evening, prompting A.F. to report her children's injuries to the police. The first officers to arrive obtained a report from A.F. and took photographs of the children's injuries. The following morning, A.F. took the girls to the hospital for evaluations.

(¶6} The attending physician who examined the children noted a large area of bruising over the outside of K.F.'s right thigh, while M.F. had less-pronounced bruising of her right thigh and buttocks. Neither child required medication. Both were discharged with instructions to A.F. to take them to their primary care physician for a follow-up examination in three to five days.

(¶7} The police arrested Hickman, who provided them with an oral and a written statement. Hickman admitted punishing the children with his cloth belt; he stated that K.F. had been warned many times that she would receive a "whooping" for flushing the wipes, and he believed it was time to administer one. The officers took Hickman's belt as evidence.

(¶8} Hickman was charged in this case with ten counts of child endangering, eight counts of which contained furthermore clauses alleging the child had sustained serious physical harm, and four counts of felonious assault. He signed a waiver of his right to a jury trial and tried the case to the bench.

(ΒΆ9} After the state presented its case-in-chief, the trial court granted Hickman's motion for acquittal as to three counts of felonious assault, four counts of child endangering, and the furthermore clauses attached to the first two ...


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