Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland
Criminal Appeal from the Mansfield Municipal Court, Case No.
17 CRB 163
Plaintiff-Appellee MICHAEL J. KEMERER ASSISTANT LAW DIRECTOR
Defendant-Appellant RANDALL E. FRY
John W. Wise, P. J., Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J., Hon. William B.
Appellant Drew Elkins appeals following his conviction, in
the Mansfield Municipal Court, Richland County, for
obstructing official business and criminal trespass. Appellee
is the State of Ohio. The relevant facts leading to this
appeal are as follows.
On January 10, 2017, appellant and Victoria Chapman were at
the Richland County Children Service's ("RCCS")
offices in Mansfield for a scheduled visit with their infant
child. The agency's family support specialist
assisting with the visit, Erica Denham, specifically advised
them prior to the commencement of the visit that no cell
phones were allowed, and that if during the visit a cell
phone or similar device were discovered, the event would
At some point, appellant and Chapman discovered a red mark on
their child, which caused concern to them. However, a cell
phone rang during the visitation time, at which point Denham
and some of her co-workers immediately "let them know
that their visit was ending and that they needed to exit the
building." Tr. at 59. Appellant refused to leave, and he
asked to speak to a supervisor. RCCS employees thereupon decided
to request law enforcement assistance. Furthermore, an
ambulance was requested for Chapman, even though two of the
State's witnesses later testified that they observed no
medical conditions requiring such assistance. See
Tr. at 68-69 (Denham), 77 (Gordon).
Sgt. William Gordon of the Richland County Sheriffs
Department soon arrived at RCCS. He gave some instructions to
appellant, which he believed appellant intentionally did not
follow. Rather than immediately issuing a summons to
appellant for criminal trespass, Sgt. Gordon decided to allow
appellant to follow the ambulance for Chapman to the
Sgt. Gordon thereafter came into the hospital waiting room
and began writing a summons for criminal trespass. Deputy
Amber Alfrey also arrived on the scene. As further analyzed
infra, while Sgt. Gordon was attempting to write the
summons, appellant engaged in actions to attempt to delay the
officer in his duties. Sgt. Gordon therefore additionally
charged the appellant with obstructing official business.
The matter proceeded to a jury trial on May 22, 2017.
Appellant was found guilty of one count of obstructing
official business, R.C. 2921.31(A), a misdemeanor of the
second degree, and one count of criminal trespass, R.C.
2911.21(A)(4), a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
On June 1, 2017, appellant was sentenced as follows: a fine
of $200.00 and ninety days in jail for obstructing official
business, and a $100.00 fine with thirty days in jail on the
offense of criminal trespassing. The jail sentences were
ordered to be consecutive to each other and were set to begin
on July 11, 2017. Appellant was also ordered to obtain a
mental health assessment.
The trial court subsequently suspended all jail time and
imposed one year of probation.
Appellant filed a notice of appeal on June 30, 2017. He
herein raises the ...