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City of Cleveland v. Sands

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

October 26, 2017

CITY OF CLEVELAND PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JE'MEL SANDS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 CRB 001936

          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

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Je'Mel Sands ("Sands"), appeals his conviction for aggravated menacing. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} 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 new boyfriend.

         {¶3} 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.

         {¶4} 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 charges."

         {¶5} 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.

         {¶6} 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.

         {¶7} 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.

         {¶8} Sands now appeals, raising the following single assignment ...


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