Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Preble
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM PREBLE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case
P. Votel, Preble County Prosecuting Attorney, Gractia S.
Manning, Preble County, for plaintiff-appellee
of the Ohio Public Defender, Stephen P. Hardwick, for
1} Defendant-appellant, Curtis D. Schleiger, appeals
from his conviction following a jury trial in the Preble
County Court of Common Pleas for single counts of felonious
assault and carrying a concealed weapon. For the reasons
outlined below, we affirm.
2} On May 5, 2009, the Preble County Grand Jury
returned a four-count indictment charging Schleiger with
single counts of felonious assault, tampering with evidence,
aggravated assault, and carrying a concealed weapon. Although
generally a first-degree misdemeanor, the carrying a
concealed weapon charge was brought as a fourth-degree felony
due to Schleiger having previously been convicted in the
Eaton Municipal Court of three offenses of violence, one for
domestic violence and two for menacing. There is no dispute
that Schleiger had previously been so convicted.
3} The charges subject of this appeal arose after
Schleiger engaged in a fight with Matt Dillman outside 230
Club on the evening of April 22, 2009. During this fight,
Schleiger stabbed Dillman multiple times causing Dillman to
suffer deep wounds to his abdomen and both armpits. After
stabbing Dillman, Schleiger fled the scene, but was located
shortly thereafter hiding on a second story landing of a
nearby apartment building. The knife Schleiger used to stab
Dillman was located stuffed behind an electoral conduit close
to where Schleiger had been hiding. Appearing at his
arraignment, Schleiger entered a plea of not guilty to all
charges. The state later dismissed the aggravated assault
charge and the matter proceeded to a jury trial.
4} At trial, Schleiger notified the trial court that
he objected to the state introducing evidence as to all three
of his prior convictions for offenses of violence in order to
raise the carrying a concealed weapon charge from a
first-degree misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony. In
support, Schleiger argued that the relevant portion of the
carrying concealed weapon statute, R.C. 2923.12(F)(1),
"says any prior offense of violence. It doesn't say
two, it doesn't say three, it doesn't say
twelve." Therefore, according to Schleiger,
"offering more than one is overly prejudicial and
perhaps taints the jury."
5} Countering Schleiger's argument, the state
argued that "just as the state would not choose just one
eyewitness in a case, even though those eyewitnesses may be
prejudicial to the Defendant, the state is not going to
choose just one prior conviction." Continuing, the state
Just as in a domestic violence case, if a domestic violence,
let's say an F3, let's say the offender doesn't
have one or more or two or more, but has three or more prior
convictions, the state would introduce them all. And the
state is simply doing the same thing with this case.
the state noted that it did not know which of Schleiger's
prior convictions, if any, he might attack collaterally,
"so the state's choosing to admit them all."
6} Overruling Schleiger's objection, the trial
court stated, in pertinent part, the following:
I don't think the state has to be tied down to one
offense or the other because to do so would limit them in
terms of their ability to present others if they later
determined that they needed to do that because, as [the
state] suggests, the offense that they wish to use was
collaterally attacked and found to be faulty.
The defense would then later say, you didn't tell me you
were going to use one of the other offenses if ...