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City of Ashland v. Francis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Ashland

November 9, 2017

CITY OF ASHLAND Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
JONATHAN FRANCIS Defendant-Appellant

         Appeal from the Ashland Municipal Court, Case No. 16-CRB-00958 A-C

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: ANDREW N. BUSH

          For Defendant-Appellant: JOHN ANTHONY POWERS

          Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          Delaney, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Jonathan Francis appeals from the February 16, 2017 judgment entry of the Ashland Municipal Court. Appellee is the city of Ashland.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶2} Appellant's mother, Emmalean Quinn, is married to Leonard Quinn but the two are separated. They live near each other on Myers Avenue in Ashland: Leonard lives on the property that also houses his business, T & L Automotive and Towing, and Emmalean lives across the street in a house with appellant, his wife, and two children.

         {¶3} On August 27, 2016, between two and four in the afternoon, an argument arose between Emmalean, appellant, and Leonard. Leonard remained on his own property and Emmalean and appellant stood in the roadway. Accounts differed as to the source of the argument, but appellant said some tires on Leonard's property belonged to him and Leonard told appellant to take them. Appellant took the tires back to his own property but the argument resumed.

         {¶4} Another neighbor and friend of Leonard, Toby Shire, heard the argument and came outside to see what was going on. Shire witnessed the ensuing events.

         {¶5} At some point appellant picked up a piece of lumber, described as a "2 by 6, " and swung or brandished it in Leonard's direction, threatening "I oughta….knock [Leonard's] block off" (T. 26, 109). Appellant put the 2 by 6 down, went back inside his house, and emerged a few minutes later with a large aluminum flashlight that "looked like a baseball bat" (T. 31). The argument resumed and appellant brandished the flashlight, then returned to the house.

         {¶6} Appellant reemerged from the house and said "If I am going to go to jail, I am going to jail for something worthwhile" (T. 32, 45). Appellant got into his Avalanche truck which was parked on his own property and spun out as he pulled out of his yard, accelerating fast. He had to stop and back up because another car was in the road, but then drove around his mother and into the gravel parking lot of Leonard's shop. Shire stood 10 to 12 feet away from Leonard and Leonard shouted at him to get out of the way. Appellant drove the truck at Leonard, who put his arms up. The front headlight and grille of the truck struck Leonard lightly but enough to knock him back a few feet. Shire described him "bounc[ing] off the front of the truck" (T. 36).

         {¶7} Appellant pulled out of the parking lot, drove the truck back across the street, parked and went into the house. Leonard went into his garage to call police.

         {¶8} Lt. Steven Hoover of the Ashland Police Department was the first officer at the scene to speak to Leonard and Shire. Other officers attempted to speak to appellant but he wouldn't come out of the house. Hoover determined appellant would be arrested for assault, possession of criminal tools, and reckless operation. A tow truck arrived to ...


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