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State v. Parks

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

June 5, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
NELSON SCOTT PARKS Defendant-Appellee

         Criminal appeal from the Canton Municipal Court, Case No. 2015CRB05075

          For Plaintiff-Appellee TASHA FORCHIONE Assistant Prosecutor

          For Defendant-Appellant AARON KOVALCHIK

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          Gwin, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Nelson Scott Parks ["Parks"] appeals his convictions and sentences after a bench trial in the Canton Municipal Court on one count of Criminal Trespass under R.C. 2911.21 and one count of Littering and Dumping under Canton Municipal Code 521.08.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} Parks was charged with one count of Criminal Trespass under R.C. 2911.21 and one count of Littering and Dumping under Canton Municipal Code 521.08. Parks through counsel filed a jury demand on November 10, 2015. A court trial was conducted on August 18, 2016. The following evidence was adduced during the trial.

         {¶3} On October 28, 2015, Officer Steven Shackle of the Canton Police Department made contact with Parks at a wooded tree line area of 25th Street west of Market Avenue in Canton, Ohio. Shackle was responding to a call concerning a male who was yelling at children. Officer Shackle observed an area of trash bags in the area that Parks referred to as his home. Officer Shackle instructed Parks to leave the area. Officer Shackle testified the source of the call concerning Parks was from the property manager of the Market Ridge Apartments and that the property manager did not want Parks at the Market Ridge Apartments. Officer Shackle testified that he made contact with Parks north of the property where the Market Ridge Apartments are located.

         {¶4} Officer Nick Casto of the Canton Police Department testified that he made contact with Parks in the trees behind the Market Ridge Apartments on October 30, 2015. Officer Casto observed trash bags and garbage at the location. However, Officer Casto could not testify as to whether Parks was on the property where the Market Ridge Apartments were located or if Parks was on the property that makes up part of the Canton City Parks.

         {¶5} Parks testified that he was an archaeologist who lived wherever he was conducting archeological activities. Parks testified that he was never on the property of the Market Ridge Apartments and that he was on the property of Weis Park. Parks further stated that he did not intend to leave garbage in the wooded area where the police officers made contact with him.

         {¶6} The trial court found Parks guilty of Criminal Trespass under R.C. 2911.21 and Littering and Dumping under Canton Municipal Code 521.08.

         Assignments of Error

         {¶7} "I. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT CONDUCTED A COURT TRIAL ...


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