Appeal from the Alliance Municipal Court, Case No. 2017 CRB
Plaintiff-Appellee JENNIFER L. ARNOLD LAW DIRECTOR
Defendant-Appellant DEREK LOWRY
John W. Wise, P. J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E.
Appellant Kevin E. Wasmire appeals his conviction on one
count of menacing following a jury trial in the Alliance
Appellee is the State of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS
On February 9, 2017, Appellant Kevin Wasmire was charged with
one count of Menacing, a misdemeanor of the 4th Degree. A
warrant was issued, and Appellant was arrested on February
The menacing charges arose out of an investigation in which
Detective William Johnson of the Alliance Police Department
was involved in December, 2016, regarding stolen property.
This investigation concerned tens of thousands of dollars of
equipment, power tools, auto equipment, trailers and a plow.
(T. at 154). Investigation into these stolen items led the
Detective to Appellant Kevin Wasmire as a person of interest.
As part of the investigation he obtained a search warrant for
Appellant's home. (T. at 168). Further, Appellant
consented to Det. Johnson searching his cellular telephone.
(T. at 168). Upon a search of the cell phone, Det. Johnson
saw a great deal of contact with Tyler Sammons, the victim in
this matter. (T. at 169).
Appellant and Tyler Sammons had previously worked together at
T & N Excavating in Alliance, Ohio. (T. at 93-94). In
December, 2016, when Appellant was interviewed by Det.
Johnson regarding the missing property, he learned the extent
of Sammons involvement with Appellant. (T. at 99-100). As a
result, Johnson also investigated Sammons. (T. at 180).
Sammons ended up being charged as a co-defendant to Appellant
in the missing property matter. (T. at 181).
The property investigation into Appellant also led Det.
Johnson to Zach Clair. (T. at 170, 182). During an interview
with Clair, when questioned about the thefts Clair
immediately gave over his cell phone to Det. Johnson. (T. at
172). Clair's cell phone revealed messages about Sammons
from Appellant to Clair. The messages (Exhibit "A")
between Appellant and Clair occurred after Appellant was
released from jail on bond on the property charges. (T. at
173). They were from a messaging app such as Facebook
Messenger. (T. at 173). Det. Johnson was concerned about the
content of the messages, and contacted Sammons' attorney.
(T. at 175).
During the trial, Clair recalled that he was approached by
Det. Johnson in February, 2017, as a result of his
communications with Appellant and an ongoing investigation.
(T. at 151). At that time, Clair answered questions and also
produced the text messages Appellant sent to him about
Sammons. (T. at 151). He testified that he did this because
he did not think it was right that Appellant was threatening
Sammons. (T. at 151).
Det. Johnson described Sammons as young, naive, and easily
intimidated. (T. at 169). Zachary Clair testified that he
went to high school with Sammons and recalled that Sammons
was bullied in school. (T. at 148-149). Clair stated Sammons
was the type of person who did not stand up for himself, and
instead just tried to walk away. (T. at 150).
At trial Sammons testified he previously turned Appellant in
for "stealing hours" when they worked together. (T.
at 95). He stated that Appellant threatened to "clean
his clock" after this. (T. at 105). After that Sammons
started to get random disturbing text messages from
Appellant, i.e. "I see you". (T. at 96-97). Since
that time Sammons has been concerned because Appellant always
seemed to know where he was. (T. at 97). After this and as
result of Appellant's actions, Sammons sought out and
obtained his Concealed Carry License (CCW). (T. at 98).
In early 2017, Sammons learned that Appellant was looking for
him. (T. at 101). He learned this through seeing the text
messages from a mutual acquaintance, Zachary Clair, on
February 8, 2017. (T. at 99-100, 102). When Sammons learned
of these messages, he testified he became nervous and went
into a panic. (T. at 121-122). Sammons believed Appellant
would cause him physical harm. (T. at 122).
After Sammons learned of these text messages, he attempted to
avoid Appellant because he was afraid. (T. at 103). He
attempted to ignore the text messages he received from him.
(T. at 118). Sammons testified that as long as Appellant was
out on the streets, he would be in fear. (T. at 122).
Det. Johnson also testified that when he presented the
messages to Sammons when he returned to the Alliance Police
Department to finish a written statement on February 8, 2017,
Sammons was visibly shaken and upset. (T. at 178-179).
During the trial, the jury learned that Appellant told Clair
the reason he was upset with Sammons and that it involved him
going to jail, and it had been in the papers and news. (T. at
156-157). Clair showed Det. Johnson the messages after
Johnson told him that Sammons was involved in charges. (T. at
Appellant also testified during the trial. Appellant
testified that he and Sammons did not have a good
relationship. (T. at 227). Appellant admitted that he told
Sammons he would "kick his ass", after a work
dispute. (T. at 227). Appellant claimed that after he told
Sammons he would "kick his ass", Sammons followed
directions better and was a better worker. (T. at 227).
Appellant also testified that he does not like people who
snitch. (T. at 228).
Appellant admitted he had the text conversation with Zach
Clair about Sammons. (T. at 229-230). Appellant told the jury
he blamed Sammons for getting him in trouble, and that it was
all Sammons fault that he was in trouble. (T. at 231).
After hearing the evidence, the jury found Appellant guilty
of the one count of menacing. The trial court sentenced
Appellant to 30 days in Stark County Jail and a $250.00 fine,
with sentence imposed immediately.
It is from this conviction and sentence Appellant now