Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
IN RE: Q.W. Minor Child
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
Juvenile Division Case No. DL 15115302
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Christopher R. Lenahan R. Brian
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor Sean Kilbane Assistant County Prosecutor
BEFORE: Stewart, J., Kilbane, P.J., and Blackmon, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. STEWART, J.
Appellant Q.W., a minor, appeals the judgment of the juvenile
court adjudicating her delinquent for committing two acts of
telecommunications harassment, in violation of R.C.
2917.21(A)(3), for sending threatening text messages and
making threatening phone calls - acts that would be
first-degree misdemeanors if committed by an adult. The court
imposed a community control sanction of six months under the
supervision of the probation department. In two assignments
of error, Q.W. challenges the sufficiency of the evidence and
argues that her delinquency adjudications are against the
manifest weight of the evidence.
At trial the state's evidence established the relevant
background facts. The victim's minor daughter and Q.W.
were involved in a romantic relationship. The victim was not
happy about this relationship, and her displeasure culminated
in a verbal and physical altercation with her daughter. The
daughter was subsequently arrested.
Over the course of the next several days, the victim received
a barrage of threatening text messages from a telephone
number she did not recognize. These messages contained
threats to both the victim's life and property. There
were specific references to the manner of death the person
would inflict, for example, slicing the victim's throat
and bashing her head with a brick. There were also specific
references to burning down the victim's house and blowing
up her car.
In the midst of this stream of messages, and from the same
phone number, the victim testified to receiving threatening
phone calls. The caller threatened to burn down the
victim's house and set her car on fire. The victim
testified that she recognized the caller's voice as being
In response to the messages and calls, the victim contacted
Q.W.'s father, made a police report, and sought a
restraining order against Q.W. When asked why she contacted
the police, the victim responded "[b]ecause it was
In her first assignment of error, Q.W. challenges the
state's evidence as insufficient to support the
court's finding that she violated R.C. 2917.21(A)(3). She
argues that the evidence did not establish a link between her
and the threatening communications. We disagree.
This court evaluates challenges to the sufficiency and
manifest weight of the evidence in delinquency adjudications
under the same standards of review that apply to criminal
convictions. In re C.A., 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
102675, 2015-Ohio-4768, ¶ 47. In the context of a
sufficiency challenge, we review the evidence "'in a
light most favorable to the prosecution, '" to
determine whether "'any rational trier of fact could
have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond
a reasonable doubt.'" In re S.H., 8th Dist.
Cuyahoga No. 100529, 2014-Ohio-2770, ¶ 17, quoting
State v. Leonard, 104 Ohio St.3d 54, 2004-Ohio-6235,
818 N.E.2d 229, ¶ 77. When evaluating such a claim, we
do not consider a witness's credibility. State v.
Williams, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 98528, 2013-Ohio-1181,
¶ 27. Instead, we consider whether the admitted
evidence, "if believed, would convince an average mind
of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 573 N.E.2d 492
(1991), paragraph two of the syllabus. "In essence,
sufficiency is a test of adequacy." State v.
Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386, 678 N.E.2d 541
Q.W. was adjudicated delinquent for two counts of
telecommunications harassment in violation of R.C.
2917.21(A)(3), which in relevant part provides:
No person shall knowingly make or cause to be made a
telecommunication, or knowingly permit a telecommunication to
be made from a telecommunications device under the
person's control, to another, if the caller * * *
[d]uring the ...