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State v. Anderson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

March 16, 2017


         Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case Nos. CR-15-599104-A, CR-15-599105-A, CR-15-602138-A and CR-15-602139-A.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Kimberly J. Bolton Also listed: Shyne Anderson Inmate No. 682-513

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Jillian Eckart Frank Romeo Zeleznikar Assistant County Prosecutors

          BEFORE: McCormack, J., Keough, A.J., and E.A. Gallagher, J.



         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Shyne Anderson appeals from his convictions in four cases at the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. The cases involved his multiple acts of violence against two women. The four cases were tried together to the bench. After a review of the record and applicable law, we affirm his convictions.

         {¶2} The record reflects that between December 2015 and February 2016, Anderson was indicted in four separate cases for offenses he committed between July 2014 and December 2015 against two women with whom he was in a relationship. Anderson pleaded not guilty in all four cases. He waived his right to a jury trial, and these cases were tried to the bench. The state moved to join all four cases for trial. The defense objected to the joinder. The trial court overruled the objection. At the joint trial, the state presented the testimony from the two victims and five police officers. The defendant did not present any witnesses. The facts in the four cases are as follows.

         Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-15-602138-A

         {¶3} Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-15-602138-A related to an incident involving Shana Saunders, with whom Anderson has a daughter. For his conduct in the incident, Anderson was indicted for four counts of felonious assault, two counts of domestic violence, and kidnapping.

         {¶4} Saunders testified at trial that, in the evening of July 23, 2014, she and Anderson were out drinking. Close to midnight, Saunders expressed a desire to go home. Thinking she was going to see another man, Anderson chased her around her vehicle, took her key, and drove off with her vehicle. Without her vehicle, Saunders walked around for an hour. Anderson finally returned to her. Saunders entered her car, carrying a brick she had picked up in the street. They began to argue, and Saunders threw the brick in Anderson's lap. Anderson picked up the brick and threw it at Saunders's face, striking her above her eye, causing a gash. Saunders asked to be taken to the hospital to receive medical attention. Anderson refused. He drove her instead to her house, against her wish. Once there, Anderson followed her inside her home, while the two continued to argue. According to Saunders's testimony, she picked up a knife from the kitchen and out of anger, stabbed the wall with such a force that her fingers were injured. Anderson then took her vehicle and drove off. A friend of Saunders who was in her home that night called the police. The paramedics arrived to take her to Hillcrest Hospital, where she received multiple stitches for her wound above the eye.

         {¶5} Officers Bonnie Simmerly and Everett Haworth interviewed Saunders while she was at the hospital. These two officers as well as Detective John Freehoffer testified at trial regarding their investigation of the incident.

         {¶6} Based on Saunders's testimony at trial about how she injured herself with the kitchen knife, the state nolled two counts of felonious assault and one count of domestic violence relating to her knife injury. Anderson was convicted of one count of felonious assault and kidnapping. He received eight years in prison for felonious assault and eleven years for kidnapping, to be served concurrently.

         Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-15-99104-A

         {¶7} Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-15-599104-A related to a burglary incident on January 11, 2015, also involving Saunders. For the incident, Anderson was indicted for two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of domestic violence, and two counts of criminal damaging.

         {¶8} Saunders testified that on the evening before the incident, she was out drinking with Anderson. After midnight, Anderson drove her home. She asked to be dropped off at a gas station near her house. While she was walking home, Anderson followed her in his vehicle, trying to get her back in the vehicle, without success. After she entered her home, an upstairs unit of a two-family home, she talked to a friend by phone. All of a sudden, she saw Anderson hanging in the window of her apartment. He then lifted the window and climbed in. Sensing trouble, Saunders immediately fled her apartment and ran downstairs. Anderson chased her and started hitting her in the face. The downstairs neighbors heard the commotion and opened their door. Saunders fell in. Anderson followed her inside. A scuffle between the apartment's two residents and Anderson ensued. They eventually pushed him outside and locked the door. While Saunders called the police, the windows of that apartment were shattered. Saunders sustained injuries on her jaw, forehead, and eye. Officer Michael Surtz arrived to find Saunders crying and yelling, her face bleeding, and the downstairs neighbors shaken up. The windshield of a vehicle parked on the driveway was also shattered. While Saunders testified Anderson entered her second-floor apartment by the window, Officer Surtz, on cross-examination, testified that the window was about 20 feet off the ground and there was no ladder or rope in the area.

         {¶9} The trial court found Anderson guilty of aggravated burglary relating to Saunders's residence, but not guilty of aggravated burglary relating to the neighbors' residence. The court found him guilty of the remaining counts. He was sentenced to 11 years on aggravated burglary. For domestic ...

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