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State v. Jackson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 5, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DEREK C. JACKSON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-605250-A

          Patrick S. Lavelle Van Sweringen Arcade ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT

          Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, Jillian Eckart Assistant County Prosecutor ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE

          BEFORE: Boyle, J., E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and Keough, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Derek Jackson, appeals his convictions for obstructing official business and failure to stop after accident. He raises one assignment of error for our review:

The jury determination in lower court was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         {¶2} Finding no merit to his assignment of error, we affirm.

         Procedural History and Factual Background

         {¶3} On April 29, 2016, a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Jackson on one count of aggravated burglary, in violation of R.C. 2911.11(A)(2); one count of tampering with evidence, in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1); one count of obstructing official business, in violation of R.C. 2921.31(A); one count of failure to stop after accident, in violation of R.C. 4549.03(A); and one count of intimidation of crime victim or witness, in violation of R.C. 2921.04(B)(1).

         {¶4} The case proceeded to a trial by jury where the following evidence was presented in relation to the counts for obstructing official business and failure to stop after accident.

         {¶5} On December 5, 2015, at around 3:00 a.m., Detectives Hathaway and Janusczak were patrolling the streets when their marked patrol car was struck by another vehicle as they crossed through the intersection of Payne Avenue and East 40th Street. Detective Hathaway testified he was the driver and Detective Janusczak was the passenger. He stated that their patrol car was "T-boned on the rear passenger side, " the passenger-side air bag deployed, and that after being struck by the vehicle, they "spun around, and maybe about twelve to eighteen feet spun backwards toward the railroad tracks." He testified that he did not recall anything about the vehicle that struck them and that after hitting them, the vehicle did not stop. On cross-examination, both detectives stated that they did not see who was driving the vehicle.

         {¶6} Both officers testified that they sustained injuries as a result of the motor vehicle accident. After being hit, Detective Janusczak testified that he broadcast the incident over the police radio, stating that they were struck by a "blue or black Dodge Ram." Detective Janusczak testified that they had to call a tow truck to transport the patrol car off the scene because two of the vehicle's wheels were caved in and many of the vehicle's parts were knocked off and were lying in the surrounding area.

         {¶7} After examining both detectives, the state called Officer Dotson, who responded to the scene of the accident. Officer Dotson testified that she discovered a license plate and part of a vehicle's bumper in the road. She stated that she believed it to be from the vehicle that came into contact with the detectives' patrol car and radioed in the license plate's information to obtain the related registration information. Officer Dotson testified that the dispatcher informed her that the license plate was registered to a pickup truck, that the owner of the truck lived in the Fourth District, and that she would have to ...


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