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State v. Heimberger

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Seneca

February 20, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DEBRA A. HEIMBERGER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court Trial Court No. TRD1701183

          Debra A. Heimberger, Appellant

          Charles R. Hall, Jr. for Appellee

          OPINION

          SHAW, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Debra A. Heimberger ("Heimberger"), brings this appeal from the July 18, 2017, judgment of the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court finding Heimberger guilty of a red light infraction in violation of Fostoria Codified Ordinance 313.03(c)(1), a minor misdemeanor. On appeal Heimberger argues that there was insufficient evidence presented to convict her, that her conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence, and that the trial court improperly relied upon hearsay testimony to convict her.

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On April 3, 2017, Heimberger was charged with a red light violation in contravention of Fostoria Codified Ordinance 313.03(c)(1), a minor misdemeanor. It was alleged that Heimberger ran a red light and struck a vehicle driven by Joseph Wymer. Heimberger pled not guilty to the charge and her case proceeded to a bench trial.[1]

         {¶3} At trial the prosecution presented the testimony of Wymer, who indicated that Heimberger drove through a red light and struck his vehicle while he was proceeding through a green light. The prosecution also called Sergeant Clayton Moore of the Fostoria Police Department who responded to the scene of the accident to investigate it. Sergeant Moore testified that he determined that Heimberger had driven through a red light and struck Wymer's vehicle. He then cited Heimberger for a violation.

         {¶4} Heimberger testified on her own behalf indicating that she had not run a red light, contending rather that Wymer actually struck her vehicle. At the conclusion of the testimony the matter was submitted to the trial court for a decision. The trial court ultimately found Heimberger guilty and ordered her to pay a $100 fine and court costs.

         {¶5} It is from this judgment that Heimberger appeals, asserting the following assignments of error for our review.[2]

Assignment of Error No. 1
The verdict of the trial court was against the manifest weight of the evidence.
Assignment of Error No. 2
The verdict of the trial court convicting Appellant of a red light violation was not based on sufficient evidence.
Assignment of Error No. 3
The verdict of the trial court was based in whole or in part on the hearsay testimony of a police officer that did not witness the alleged red light traffic violation.

         {¶6} For the sake of clarity, we elect to address the assignments of error out of the order in which they were raised.

         Second ...


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