Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case
P. Fornshell, Warren County Prosecuting Attorney, Kirsten A.
Brandt, for plaintiff-appellee
A. Newburger, for defendant-appellant
1} Defendant-appellant, Daniel Whitt, appeals his
conviction in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas. For
the reasons detailed below, we affirm.
2} On August 5, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m.,
Janet and Gary Bowling, their two grandchildren, and
Janet's brother were at their home in South Lebanon. Most
of the family was in the family room watching the opening
ceremony of the Summer Olympics. Janet was in the master
3} Janet was not in her room for long when she heard
a loud bang outside the sliding glass door of her bedroom.
The sound was so loud that the family believed they had heard
a gunshot. Janet and Gary went to the kitchen where they
observed a man, covered in blood and panicked, banging on the
kitchen door. According to Gary, Whitt was "beating the
hell out of the door with something, I don't know what it
was. I thought he was going to break the glass, saying
they're going to shoot me, they're going to shoot
4} Though Gary offered to help Whitt, Gary explained
that he could not come inside. Gary testified that he told
Whit "you're not getting in here is what I told him.
You're not getting in here. I said, I'll get you some
help, but you're not getting in here." Whitt ignored
Gary and instead repeated cries to "let me in, let me
in, " while continuing to beat of the door with an
5} Meanwhile, Janet went into the family room to
call 911. Despite being told that he was not permitted to
enter the house, Whitt continued to bang on the glass of the
kitchen door and windows. At some point, Whitt managed to
open the front storm door and continued loudly banging on the
main door. While Whitt continued to beat on the door, he
continued to yell "let me in, they're after me,
they're coming to get me."
6} While Whitt continued to make attempts to gain
entry, Gary was on the phone with 911. Whitt was banging on
the windows and doors so hard that Gary and Janet were
"very surprised" the glass held and Whitt was
unable to gain entry. Believing that Whitt was possibly armed
and afraid that Whitt was going to harm them, Gary grabbed an
aluminum baseball bat for protection in the event that Whitt
was able to gain entry to the residence.
7} Law enforcement personnel were not able to arrive
on-scene until approximately 12 minutes after they were
dispatched to the scene. When law enforcement arrived, they
approached Whitt with their guns drawn and ordered him down
on the ground. Whitt initially did not comply, but officers
were able to get Whitt on the ground and handcuffed. At the
time, Whitt was observed to be covered in blood and
"tweaking." Deputy Noah Billmaier described Whitt
as constantly moving and unable to sit still. Deputy
Billmaier testified that Whitt's behavior was commonly
seen in individuals who were on narcotics.
8} Whitt was transported to the hospital for
treatment. That night and the following morning, law
enforcement surveyed Gary and Janet's property. During
their investigation, law enforcement observed blood covering
the driveway, on vehicles, on the front porch, tables and
chairs, on the doors, windows, and backyard. In addition,
furniture on the front porch had been broken and chairs
tossed aside. Law enforcement also recovered a broken ashtray
on the porch with another piece of the ashtray in the
driveway, connected by a trail of blood.
9} Deputy Kenneth Palmer spoke with Whitt in the
emergency room. Deputy Palmer also described Whitt as
"real jittery, very talkative, talking a mile a
minute" and "couldn't keep still." During
their conversation, Whitt admitted that he had ingested
"ice, " which is a slang term for methamphetamine.
Whitt also recalled the incident at the Bowling residence and
stated that he had brought the ashtray with him from the
apartment complex across the street and he had cut himself on
the broken shards, thus causing the bloody scene.
10} On August 29, 2016, Whitt was indicted for
attempted trespass into a habitation and criminal damaging.
The case proceeded to a jury trial on March 23, 2017.
Following the introduction of all evidence and deliberation
by the jury, Whitt was found guilty of both counts. The trial
court sentenced Whitt to eleven months in prison to be served
consecutively to another prison term ...