Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton
Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Municipal Court Trial
Boggs Muething, City Solicitor, Natalia Harris, City
Prosecutor, and Christopher Liu, Assistant City Prosecutor,
William F. Oswall, Jr., for Defendant-Appellant.
Russell Daniels appeals his conviction in the Hamilton County
Municipal Court for domestic violence in violation of R.C.
2919.25(A). The victim of the offense was Daniels's wife,
Crystal Daniels. For ease of discussion, we will refer to
Crystal Daniels as Mrs. Daniels.
Daniels challenges his conviction on the grounds that the
trial court abused its discretion in not dismissing the case
at the state's request, his trial counsel was ineffective
for not requesting a jury trial after the court denied the
request to dismiss and not objecting to prejudicial evidence,
and the conviction was against the manifest weight of the
evidence. We find no merit to Daniels's arguments and
affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Russell Daniels was charged with one count of domestic
violence in violation of RC. 2919.25(A), a misdemeanor of the
first degree. The complaint alleged that Daniels had
physically harmed his wife by picking her up by her face and
pulling her hair.
Daniels pled not guilty and proceeded to a bench trial. Prior
to trial, the prosecutor informed the trial court that Mrs.
Daniels did not wish to proceed because the charge was based
on a heated argument with her husband. The prosecutor
requested that the case be dismissed for want of prosecution.
The trial court invited the investigating officer to speak.
The officer confirmed that the charge was based on a verbal
argument that turned physical. He further explained that Mrs.
Daniels had alleged that Daniels had attempted to break their
dog's neck and had followed her when she had left the
house to file a police report. After hearing these facts, the
trial court denied the state's request to dismiss the
Mrs. Daniels and Daniels testified at trial and agreed to the
following facts. The Danielses had been married for 22 years,
and had three children together. They had been separated for
three days when Mrs. Daniels invited him to the marital home
to discuss their marriage. The discussion took place in their
bedroom, while Mrs. Daniels was lying in bed. Their
discussion became heated after he accused her of cheating.
Both were screaming and yelling at each other.
Each testified to a different version of the physical
altercation. Mrs. Daniels testified that her hair was in a
ponytail, and that Daniels pulled her hair, but did not hurt
her. Then he grabbed her face and chin and raised her face
upwards. She explained that the facial grab did not leave any
marks, but it hurt. While they were arguing, the dog jumped
on the bed and tried to play with Daniels. Daniels lifted the
dog by the scruff of its neck and set the dog on the floor.
After Daniels grabbed her, they continued the argument
downstairs. While they were arguing, their 12-year-old
daughter came into the room and slapped Daniels in the face.
Daniels moved their daughter, but did not hurt her. Mrs.
Daniels asked him to leave, and she went to her car with her
daughter and the dog to call 911. She saw his car behind hers
briefly and initially assumed that he was following her. When
she looked behind her a second time, he was gone. She
proceeded to drive to the police station to file a report.
During cross-examination, the following exchange occurred
between counsel for Daniels and Mrs. Daniels:
Q. This incident allegedly took place on January
20th of this year; is that correct?
Q. And actually - - correct me if I'm wrong, but January
19th, you actually went to District 3 to inquire
about how ...