Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 CRB
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ronald A. Skingle.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara Langhenry Director of Law City
of Cleveland Law Department BY: Kimberly G. Barnett-Mills
Angela Rodriguez Assistant City Prosecutors.
BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., Boyle, J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
EILEEN KILBANE, P.J.
Defendant-appellant, Je'Mel Sands ("Sands"),
appeals his conviction for aggravated menacing. For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm.
In February 2016, Sands was charged with aggravated menacing
in Cleveland Municipal Court. The city alleged that Sands had
threatened to kill his former girlfriend, Rynaysa Bray
("Bray"), the mother of his child, as well as her
In September 2016, Sands waived a jury trial and the matter
proceeded before the bench. At the bench trial, Bray
testified that she had been in a relationship with Sands for
nine years and, although she and Sands had never lived
together, they had one daughter together. Bray explained that
she ended her relationship with Sands in July 2015.
Bray further testified that on January 26, 2016, she received
several missed calls from Sands while she was at work. Bray
explained that when she returned Sands's call, he
answered and began "ranting and raging" and
"going off because he had heard that Bray was in a new
relationship. She stated that Sands "was just yelling
through the phone, saying I'm going to kill you when I
see you. You bet [sic] not have that dude around my
daughter[.]" After hearing these threats, Bray ended the
call. She explained that, later that day, while she was still
at work, she received text messages from Sands stating that
he knows where her new boyfriend lives and works. In these
text messages, Sands threatened to shoot Bray's new
boyfriend. Bray testified that she "took it kind of
serious because [she] knew [Sands] was on probation for gun
After Bray finished work that day, members of her family told
her that Sands had contacted them as well. Bray testified
that she discussed Sands's threats with a family friend
who is a Cleveland police officer and filed a report with the
Cleveland police the following day.
The defense called Sands's grandmother as its only
witness. Sands's grandmother stated that she could not
testify to the conversations between Sands and Bray on
January 26, 2016, but she did testify as to an argument
between Sands and Bray in September 2015.
At the conclusion of trial, the court found Sands guilty of
aggravated menacing. In October 2016, the trial court
sentenced Sands, imposing a 180-day suspended jail sentence,
a $500 suspended fine, and one year of active probation.
Sands now appeals, raising the following single assignment ...