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State v. Frizzell

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 5, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DURRELL FRIZZELL DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-15-596007-A

          Richard E. Hackerd ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT

          Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Steven N. Szelagiewicz Assistant County Prosecutor ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE

          BEFORE: Keough, J., E.T. Gallagher, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Durrell Frizzell ("Frizzell") appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered after a bench trial, finding him guilty of domestic violence and endangering children. Frizzell contends that he was denied due process and his right to a fair trial when the trial court limited his right to cross-examine a witness, and that his convictions were against the manifest weight of the evidence. Finding no merit to the appeal, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Procedural Background

         {¶2} Frizzell was indicted in a five-count indictment. Count 1 charged rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2); Count 2 charged kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4); Count 3 charged domestic violence against Keyana Tillie ("Tillie") in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A); Count 4 charged domestic violence against S.F., Frizzell and Tillie's minor child, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A); and Count 5 charged endangering children regarding S.F. in violation of R.C. 2919.22(B)(3). Frizzell pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial, and the matter proceeded to a bench trial.

         {¶3} Tillie testified at trial that she and Frizzell did not live together. In April 2015, Tillie agreed that Frizzell could come to the house to speak with S.F., who had recently been getting into trouble at school and engaging in sex. Tillie testified that on April 15, 2015, Frizzell came to the house and went to S.F.'s bedroom. She said that Frizzell "seemed calm and rational, " so she left the room to take a shower. As she was showering, she heard "a lot of noise, almost like furniture was being moved." She said she wrapped a towel around herself and went to S.F.'s room, where she saw Frizzell standing over S.F., who was on the floor. Tillie said she saw Frizzell kick S.F. once in the stomach and that she later saw various bruises on S.F.'s wrist, back, and stomach. Tillie told Frizzell to leave the house and went upstairs to her room to get dressed.

         {¶4} Tillie said that Frizzell came into her bedroom and wanted to have sex with her. She told him she "was not in the mood" for sex but they had sex anyway. Frizzell then left the house.

         {¶5} Tillie testified that she decided to report the incident to the police because several weeks prior, Frizzell had grabbed her and thrown her into the wall at her house while they were arguing.

         {¶6} S.F. testified that she was 12 years old on April 15, 2015. She said that she was napping in her bedroom and woke up after Frizzell "playfully" hit her on her leg with his hands. She testified that Frizzell talked to her about why she was "acting up", and then the conversation turned "angry and physical" when Frizzell hit her four or five times on her arm. She said that as she was backing up because she did not want to get hit again, she tripped on a table and fell to the ground. She acknowledged that there was a bruise on her wrist from her fall but denied that Frizzell kicked her when she was on the floor. S.F. testified that she felt it was unnecessary to report the incident to the police, and that Frizzell apologized for hitting her.

         {¶7} Algenon Pugh, a neighbor of Tillie's, testified that he went to Tillie's house on April 15, 2015 after she called him and told him what had happened. He said that he saw S.F. "folded up and crying, " "holding her stomach, " in her bedroom.

         {¶8} Cleveland Heights Police Detective Brett Billi described his investigation of the incidents. He testified that he interviewed Tillie on May 5, 2015. He interviewed S.F. several days later but said "she was evasive and did not want to speak to us." He also went to Tillie's house and took a picture of the hole in the wall and of Tillie standing in front of ...


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