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State v. Klingel

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

March 31, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
EDWARD L. KLINGEL Appellant

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 15CR091491

          NICHOLAS HANEK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          CARR, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, Edward Klingel, appeals the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} This matter arises out of a series of threats that Klingel made toward police on his Facebook page. The Lorain County Grand Jury indicted Klingel on one count of inciting to violence, one count of retaliation, one count of telecommunications harassment, and one count of obstructing official business. The grand jury subsequently returned a supplemental indictment charging Klingel with one count of making terroristic threats. Klingel pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

         {¶3} The matter proceeded to a jury trial. Prior to opening statements, the State dismissed the inciting to violence charge. Thereafter the jury found Klingel guilty of telecommunications harassment and making terroristic threats. Klingel was found not guilty of retaliation and obstructing official business. The trial court imposed a prison term of eighteen months.

         {¶4} This Court dismissed Klingel's first attempt at an appeal due to the fact that the sentencing entry failed to resolve all of the charges in the indictment. The trial court issued a revised sentencing entry resolving all of the counts in the indictment and Klingel filed a timely notice of appeal.

         {¶5} Now before this Court, Klingel raises three assignments of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

         THE VERDICTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS HARRASSMENT AND MAKING TERRORISTIC THREAT[S], AS DEFINED BY THE COURT, IN COUNTS THREE AND FIVE WERE NOT SUPPORTED BY SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AND WERE AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.

         {¶6} In his first assignment of error, Klingel argues that his convictions for telecommunications harassment and terroristic threats were not supported by sufficient evidence and were against the weight of the evidence. This Court disagrees.

         {¶7} Klingel was convicted of terroristic threats in violation of R.C. 2909.23(A), which states:

No person shall threaten to commit or threaten to cause to be committed a specified offense when both of the following apply:
(1) The person makes the threat with purpose to do any of the following:
(a) Intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(b) Influence the policy of any government by intimidation or coercion;
(c) Affect the conduct of any government by the threat of by the specified offense.
(2) As a result of the threat, the person causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of the specified offense.

         "A person acts purposely when it is the person's specific intention to cause a certain result, or, when the gist of the offense is a prohibition against conduct of a certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish thereby, it is the offender's specific intention to engage in conduct of that nature." R.C. 2901.22(A). The term "threat" is not defined in the statute. Generally speaking, however, the term "threat" in the criminal context connotes "[a] communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another * * *[.]" Black's Law Dictionary 1519 (8th Ed.2004). The term "terroristic threat" is understood to mean "[a] threat to commit any crime of violence with the purpose of * * * terrorizing another[.]" Id. When interpreting a different criminal statute, the Supreme Court defined "threat" as "'an expression of an intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage on another usu[ally] as retribution or punishment for something done or left undone.' * * * It connotes almost any expression of intent to do an act of harm against another person ...


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