Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Ashland
appeal from the Ashland County Court of Common Pleas, Case
Plaintiff-Appellee CHRISTOPHER TUNNELL VICTOR PEREZ
Defendant-Appellant MATTHEW MALONE
Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon. William
B. Hoffman, J.
Appellant Gregory A. Pearce ["Pearce"] appeals his
conviction and sentence after a jury trial in the Ashland
County Court of Common Pleas for one count of domestic
violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a felony of the
third degree due to two prior convictions for domestic
and Procedural History
LaShell Cordwell met Pearce through social media. Shortly
after meeting him, she and two of her children moved to
Pearce's home. This was a romantic relationship, and they
shared household expenses.
On April 11, 2015, Pearce and Cordwell were drinking alcohol
before going to their friend David Hazelton's house
located at 240 State Route 604, in Polk, Ashland County,
Ohio. While at Hazelton's house, the couple consumed more
alcohol. Cordwell admitted smoking marihuana. When the couple
decided to go home, Cordwell believed that Pearce was too
drunk to drive. Cordwell testified, "I got in the
driver's seat and I was going to drive home... He wanted
to drive so he hit me in the nose and I got in the
passenger's seat and we went home." 1T. at 32. She
then testified that she "started bleeding on the
lips." Id. Upon arriving home, located at 107
West Congress Street, Ashland, Ohio, Cordwell was able to
slip away. She walked to the Polk Market and Deli where she
told an employee at the store that Pearce hit her. Cordwell
used the store's telephone to call her mother.
Cordwell's brother, Curtis Stackhouse, called the police.
Hazelton's recollection of the events that transpired
that evening differed from Cordwell's recollection.
Hazelton recalled that he did not see Pearce strike Cordwell.
Rather, the couple argued and it was decided that Pearce
would drive the car. The couple returned a short time after
leaving to look for a missing cell phone. At this time,
approximately five minutes after they had initially left,
Hazelton noticed blood on Cordwell's face. (1T. at 93).
Curtis Stackhouse testified that on April 11, 2015, Cordwell
did not tell him any details concerning her altercation with
Pearce. 1T. at 105. However, he further testified without
objection that he had spoken to Cordwell since that time and
she related that Pearce backhanded her in the nose during the
time that the couple was in the car in route to their home.
1T. at 106.
Deputy Kyle Pigeon of the Ashland County Sheriffs Office
testified that he had responded to 107 West Congress St. in
Polk where Pearce was refusing to come out of his home. He
further testified that Polk is in Ashland County, Ohio.
Deputy Pigeon testified that State Route 604, where Mr.
Hazelton lived, is the county line between Ashland and Wayne
counties. 1T. at 141.
At the close of the State's case, Pearce moved the trial
court for an acquittal pursuant to Crim. R. 29 alleging that
venue had not been proven. 1T. at 144. The trial court
overruled that motion after taking it under advisement and
researching the issue. 2T. at 161.
The jury convicted Pearce of domestic violence and further
found that he had been convicted of ...