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State v. Driftmyer

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Ottawa

May 26, 2017

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Daniel A. Driftmyer Appellant

         Trial Court No. CRB 1501010 A

          James J. VanEerten, Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney, and David R. Boldt, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Amanda A. Andrews, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          JENSEN, P.J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Daniel Driftmyer, appeals the judgment of the Ottawa County Municipal Court, sentencing him to a total of 270 days in jail following a jury trial in which he was found guilty of one count of domestic violence. We affirm.

         A. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} On September 1, 2015, a complaint was filed with the trial court, charging appellant with one count of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree. Appellant's wife, S.C., was the victim named in the complaint.

         {¶ 3} At his arraignment, appellant entered a plea of not guilty, and the matter proceeded through pretrial discovery. A jury trial subsequently commenced on June 7, 2016, at which the state called S.C. and the investigating officer involved with the case, Matt Gandee. Appellant called no witnesses in his defense.

         {¶ 4} At trial, the following facts were elicited: On August 29, 2015, appellant was finishing a "booze cruise" on Lake Erie when he contacted S.C. to have her pick him up at a bar in Sandusky. According to S.C, appellant was visibly drunk when she arrived at the bar, as evidenced by the fact that he was slurring his words. On the way back to the camper in which the couple lived, which was located in Ottawa County, appellant made several attempts to touch and kiss S.C. S.C. pushed appellant away from her each time because she was upset about his drunken condition.

         {¶ 5} Once the couple arrived back at the camper, appellant seized S.C.'s phone and stated that "there must be a reason why you are pushing me away from you." Appellant took the phone into an outdoor bathroom, where he remained for 20 minutes. Out of concern for appellant's well-being, SC eventually entered the bathroom to check on appellant. S.C. asked appellant for her phone, at which point, appellant questioned her about text message conversations he found on her phone. Suspecting infidelity, appellant became upset and broke S.C.'s phone. The couple then made their way back into the camper.

         {¶ 6} Sometime thereafter, appellant grabbed S.C.'s leg as she was lying on the couch, and proceeded to pull her off the couch. After pulling her to the floor, appellant started banging S.C.'s head on the floor and choking her. S.C. was able to get up, at which point she made her way into a back room where her belongings were kept. S.C. was attempting to place her belongings into a bag when appellant entered the room and started to pull her hair and drag her by her hair back into the living room. According to S.C.'s testimony, this entire incident lasted two hours.

         {¶ 7} At the conclusion of the incident, SC fled the camper and made her way to a laundromat, where she tried to gather herself. She testified that she was "so scared and so confused." She remained at the laundromat for 20 minutes, then proceeded back to the camper to get her dog and her phone.

         {¶ 8} After leaving the camper, SC traveled to her father's home. She did not contact the police until 19 hours after the incident occurred. When asked about why she waited so long to contact the police, SC testified that she loved appellant and was confused as to why he would treat her in that manner. Nonetheless, she met with a friend later on in the day, who advised her to report the incident to the police. She took ...


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