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State v. Black

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

May 25, 2017

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Robert N. Black, III, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEALS from the Franklin County Municipal Court (M.C. Nos. 2016 CRB 7169, 2015 CRB 30259)

         On brief:

          Richard C. Pfeiffer, Jr., City Attorney, Melanie R. Tobias, and Orly Ahroni, for appellee.

         Argued:

          Orly Ahroni.

         On brief:

          Brehm & Associates, and Robert J. Beck, Jr., for appellant.

         Argued:

          Robert J. Beck, Jr.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Robert N. Black, III, appeals from his domestic violence convictions in the Franklin County Municipal Court. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} This appeal arises from two cases in the Franklin County Municipal Court. In case No. 2015 CRB 30259, Black was charged with committing domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree, and assault in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. The criminal complaints in case No. 2015 CRB 30259 alleged that on December 31, 2015, Black assaulted his father, Robert N. Black, Jr. In case No. 2016 CRB 7169, Black was charged with committing domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree, and assault in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. The criminal complaints in case No. 2016 CRB 7169 alleged that on April 2, 2016, Black again assaulted his father. Black pleaded not guilty in both cases. The trial court approved Black's request to represent himself at trial, and it consolidated the two cases for the purpose of trial.

         {¶ 3} Black did not post bond and thus was in custody during the trial court proceedings. The parties dispute whether Black was physically restrained by shackles when he appeared before the jury. The portions of the record relating to the shackling of Black are detailed below as part of our analysis of Black's sole assignment of error.

         {¶ 4} At trial the state presented evidence demonstrating that on both December 31, 2015 and April 2, 2016, Black assaulted his father. Following deliberations, the jury found Black guilty as charged. The domestic violence and assault convictions merged for the purpose of sentencing, and, based on the state's election, the trial court proceeded to sentence Black on the domestic violence counts in each case.

         {¶ 5} Black timely appeals from his convictions.

         II. ...


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