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City of Cleveland v. Bryant

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 17, 2017

CITY OF CLEVELAND PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
LOUIS BRYANT DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 CRB 000095

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Jeffrey Froude

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara Langhenry Director of Law City of Cleveland Law Department BY: Marco A. Tanudra Assistant City Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Boyle, P.J., S. Gallagher, J., and Jones, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, P.J.:

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Louis Bryant, appeals from a judgment of the Cleveland Municipal Court convicting him of aggravated menacing. He raises three assignments of error for our review:

1. The trial court erred in denying defense counsel's [Crim.R. 29] motion for acquittal and finding defendant guilty because insufficient evidence was presented.
2. The trial court erred in finding defendant guilty against the manifest weight of the evidence.
3. Defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel because her failure to fulfill her affirmative duty to investigate and engage expert testimony prejudiced him.

{¶2} For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         I. Procedural History and Facts

         {¶3} In January 2016, plaintiff-appellee, city of Cleveland, filed a complaint in the Cleveland Municipal Court charging Bryant with aggravated menacing in violation of Cleveland Codified Ordinances ("C.C.O.") 621.06, a first-degree misdemeanor offense. Bryant pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the case proceeded to a bench trial, where the following facts were presented.

         {¶4} The victim testified that on the morning of December 24, 2015, he had just returned home from the store and was attempting to enter his house when he heard "a shot go off * * * come across [his] shoulder" and then "hit right up under the window." The victim showed police where there was a small hole in his aluminum siding, just under a window that the victim believed was caused by the shot. When the victim looked across the street, he noticed his neighbor, Bryant, pointing what appeared to be a high-powered rifle in his direction. The victim said the rifle was green with camouflage and had a scope on it. At trial, the victim further testified that he and Bryant had never gotten along since Bryant moved into the neighborhood two years earlier and that the shot had "scared the heck out of [him]."

         {¶5} Cleveland police officer Brent Scaggs testified that he responded to the victim's call within 20 minutes and that Bryant was cooperative and polite when Officer Scaggs knocked on Bryant's door and explained why he was there. Bryant allowed the officer to enter his home. Bryant then escorted the officer upstairs to where he kept an air pellet gun that matched the description of the ...


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