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State v. Schoeneman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark

September 6, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHARLES SCHOENEMAN Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Canton Municipal Court, Case No. 2016 CRB 4618

          For Plaintiff-Appellee JOSEPH MARTUCCIO Canton Law Director TYRONE D. HAURITZ Canton City Prosecutor By: KATIE ERCHICK GILBERT Assistant City Prosecutor

          For Defendant-Appellant DEREK LOWRY

          JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

          OPINION

          BALDWIN, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Charles Schoeneman appeals a judgment of the Canton Municipal Court convicting him of criminal damaging or endangering in violation of R.C. 2909.06(A)(1). Appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} Robin Minor has four siblings, including appellant. She and appellant do not speak to each other. After their father was murdered in 2008, she began decorating the grave of their parents at Forest Hill Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, for holidays.

         {¶3} September 5, 2016, was Labor Day. The day before, Robin placed a wreath she had made and a vase of red, white and blue flowers on the grave. Her understanding of the cemetery rules was that items could be on the grave from three days before a holiday until three days after. She had placed a star on the wreath that said, "Property of Robin Minor. Please do not remove. I will pick up according to the cemetery rules. Thank you. Happy Labor Day, 9-4-16." Tr. 67. When she returned to the cemetery on Labor Day, the wreath and the flowers were gone. A blue star was left on which someone had written, "Junk removed by Schoeneman family just because, " and two pennies were placed on top of the star. On September 10, 2016, she found the wreath in a trash can.

         {¶4} After Robin placed the items on the grave the day before Labor Day, her husband Daniel Minor stayed behind at the cemetery. He climbed a tree with a video camera. Using the camera, he videotaped appellant taking a star off the wreath, placing the wreath in a tree, stomping on the flowers which had been placed in a trash can, and putting the wreath on another grave.

         {¶5} Robin turned the video over to the Canton Police Department. Appellant was charged with criminal damaging or endangering in violation of R.C. 2909.06(A)(1).

         {¶6} The case proceeded to jury trial in the Canton Municipal Court. Appellant presented evidence that between March 1 and November 25, any objects placed on graves other than flowers in a cemetery-approved vase will be removed when the lawn is mowed, about every five days. He also presented the testimony of his brother, Louis Schoeneman, that he does not believe in decorating graves, and that Robin had refused his request in 2015 to remove items from the grave when he and another brother were visiting. Although Robin testified that she last spoke to Louis on Labor Day weekend of 2015, he testified that they spoke the Tuesday before trial.

         {¶7} Appellant was convicted as charged and sentenced to 90 days incarceration, with all but two days suspended, and he was given credit for two days served. He assigns four errors to this Court on appeal:

         {¶8} "I. THE TRIAL COURTS FAILURE TO ADDRESS A JUROR'S RELATIONSHIP WITH ONE OF THE WITNESSES ...


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