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State v. Delaney

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

December 29, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
SUSIE R. DELANEY Appellant

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE ELYRIA MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 2016CRB00037

          ZACHARY B. SIMONOFF, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SCOTT SERAZIN, Law Director, and SCOTT STRAIT, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Susie Delaney appeals a judgment of the Elyria Municipal Court that convicted and sentenced her for criminal damaging. For the following reasons, this Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Jeannette Orshoski testified that she was smoking a cigarette in the garage of her apartment unit on the evening of January 1, 2017, when she heard footsteps outside. When she looked out the garage door's peephole, she saw Ms. Delaney approach her car and stab one of its tires, causing it to deflate. Ms. Orshoski filed a complaint, and Ms. Delaney was charged with criminal damaging under Revised Code Section 2909.06(A). At a trial to the bench, Ms. Delaney testified that it could not have been her that Ms. Orshoski saw because she was at her father's house that night and only ventured out to go to a convenience store with her grandson and daughter. The municipal court found Ms. Delaney guilty of the offense, however, and sentenced her to 50 hours of community service. Ms. Delaney has appealed, assigning two errors.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO CONVICT THE DEFENDANT OF CRIMINAL DAMAGING OR ENDANGERING R.C. 2929.06, SINCE THE STATE FAILED TO PRESENT UNBIASED, SUFFICIENT CREDIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUSTAIN ITS BURDEN OF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

         {¶3} Ms. Delaney argues that her conviction is not supported by sufficient evidence. Whether a conviction is supported by sufficient evidence is a question of law, which we review de novo. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386 (1997). In making this determination, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution:

An appellate court's function when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine whether such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1991), paragraph two of the syllabus. The criminal damaging statute, Section 2909.06, prohibits a person from knowingly causing physical harm to the property of another without their consent. R.C. 2909.06(A)(1).

         {¶4} Ms. Delaney notes that the only evidence that she committed the offense was Ms. Orshoski's testimony. She argues that Ms. Orshoski only observed the offense through a tiny peephole, however, was looking into a dark parking lot, and was not wearing her reading glasses. In addition, Ms. Orshoski initially testified that she was only "pretty sure" Ms. Delaney was the perpetrator. Ms. Orshoski also admittedly had difficulty identifying an "unknown woman" who she saw at the apartment building earlier that day. Ms. Delaney further argues that, although a police officer looked at Ms. Orshoski's car through the ...


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