Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016
Plaintiff-Appellee: KENNETH W. OSWALT LICKING CO. PROSECUTOR.
Defendant-Appellant: BREHM & ASSOC., L.P.A. ZACHARY A.
JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.
Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.
OPINION NUNC PRO TUNC SCRIVENERS ERROR
Appellant Megan N. Yoder appeals from the June 29, 2016
Judgment Entry of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas.
Appellee is the state of Ohio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This case arose on May 7, 2015 when appellant wrote the first
of four bad checks to the Hobby Lobby in Heath, Ohio. Within
two months, on two separate accounts, appellant wrote a total
of four checks in the store, all of which would be
Date Check Written
Amount of Check
Reason for Dishonor
May 7, 2015
Insufficient Funds (“NSF”)
June 27, 2015
June 27, 2015
June 29, 2015
Account number 5567 is in the name of "Megan
Smith." Account number 9626 is in the name of Jonathon
Yoder and Megan Yoder.
It is undisputed appellant wrote the checks. Appellee's
evidence included video of appellant completing the two
transactions on June 27, 2015.
Appellee's witnesses included a bank representative who
testified that appellant's husband placed the
stop-payment order on the checks numbered 311, 313, and 314
from the 9626 account giving the reason as "lost
checks." The stop-payment orders were made on June 29,
2015. The bank witness also testified that at the time the
checks were written, the accounts did not contain sufficient
funds to support the amounts of the checks.
The Hobby Lobby corporate office became aware of the bad
checks and returned them to the Heath store with instructions
to initiate a police investigation. On November 19, 2015,
Sgt. Craig Black of the Heath Police Department spoke to
appellant at her home. Appellant admitted writing the checks
to Hobby Lobby and said she wanted to make restitution. She
told Black the stop-payment orders were issued on the latter
three checks because she thought the checks had been lost.
Appellant gave a voluntary written statement:
Checks were issued to Hobby Lobby and a stop payments was
made (sic). I thought I lost the checks and
that's why stop payments were made. I would like to make
restitution to Hobby Lobby. I receive disability once a month
and I am willing to pay them back. I also have a P.O. box
that all mail comes to which is P.O. Box 395, Alexandria,
Prior to trial, the court had ruled certain other bad acts
evidence was admissible only upon rebuttal. After
appellee's witnesses testified, however, the trial court
ruled that upon reconsideration, the evidence was admissible
in appellee's case-in-chief. Appellee's witnesses
were thus recalled over appellant's objections.
Appellee's additional evidence established appellant
wrote bad checks at other Hobby Lobby locations in different
counties. Black further testified appellant told him she
spoke with detectives regarding these additional bad checks
written to other Hobby Lobby locations in other
jurisdictions. Appellee also called a Franklin County
sheriff's deputy who testified appellant wrote checks
from a closed account to a business in Franklin County.
Appellant admitted writing the checks and told the deputy she
had a "spending problem."
Appellant was charged by indictment with one count of passing
bad checks pursuant to R.C. 2913.11(B), a felony of the fifth
degree, to which she entered a plea of not guilty.
On May 6, 2016, appellee filed a Notice of Intent to Offer
Certain Evidence, citing Franklin County Court of Common
Pleas case number 15 CR 6005 and Franklin County
Sheriff's Office report number 01-15-008574. Appellee
asserted evidence of appellant's other crimes, wrongs, or
acts would be admitted to show absence of mistake or
accident. On May 9, 2016, appellant filed a motion in limine
seeking to exclude the evidence of other acts.
The matter proceeded to trial by jury. Appellant moved for
judgment of acquittal at the close of appellee's evidence
and at the close of all of the evidence. The trial court gave
a limiting instruction regarding the evidence of the other
bad acts. In addition, in instructing the jury upon the
offense of passing bad checks, the trial court gave the
following instruction regarding the presumption of knowledge
of dishonor pursuant to R.C. 2913.11(C)(2):
* * * *.
A person who issues or transfers a check is presumed to know
that it will be dishonored if the check was properly refused
payment for insufficient funds upon presentment within thirty
days after issue, or the stated date, whichever is later, and
the liability of the drawer, endorsee, or any party who may
be liable therein is not discharged by payment or
satisfaction within ten days after receiving notice of
* * * *.
Appellant was found guilty as charged, with a special finding
by the jury that the amount of the checks was $1000.00 or
more but less than $7500.00. Sentencing was deferred pending
a pre-sentence investigation. On June 29, 2016, appellant was
sentenced to a three-year period of ...