Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM HAMILTON MUNICIPAL COURT Case No.
A. Dierling, Hamilton City Prosecutor, for plaintiff-appellee
Christopher Paul Frederick, for defendant-appellant
1} Defendant-appellant, Crystal Martino, appeals
from her conviction in the Hamilton Municipal Court for two
counts of domestic violence following a bench trial. For the
reasons outlined below, we affirm.
and Procedural History
2} This appeal involves Martino's conviction for
two counts of domestic violence in violation of R.C.
2919.25(A), both first-degree misdemeanors. Pursuant to that
statute, "[n]o person shall knowingly cause or attempt
to cause physical harm to a family or household member."
There is no dispute the alleged victims, L.C. and S.G., were
Martino's family or household members as that phrase is
defined by R.C. 2919.25(F). There is also no dispute that, if
the allegations made by L.C. and S.G. proved true, Martino
caused L.C. and S.G. to suffer physical harm.
3} The charges arose as a part of two separate
incidents occurring on June 24 and July 8, 2017,
respectively. As it relates to the June 24, 2017 incident, it
was alleged Martino struck L.C. in the face with her keys
while at a birthday party for Martino's granddaughter,
which caused L.C. to suffer a cut above her right eye that
required stitches. As it relates to the July 8, 2017
incident, it was alleged Martino, while confronting S.G.
about a missing cell phone, pulled S.G. from her bed and
struck S.G. in the head and chest. Following a bench trial,
Martino was found guilty of both charges. In so holding, the
trial court specifically stated that it found both L.C. and
S.G.'s testimony credible, whereas the testimony from
Martino and Martino's mother, Lana Terry, was not.
4} Martino now appeals from her conviction, raising
the following single assignment of error for review.
5} MS. MARTINO'S CONVICTIONS WERE AGAINST THE
MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.
6} In her single assignment of error, Martino argues
her conviction was against the manifest weight of the
evidence. We disagree.
7} In reviewing a manifest weight of the evidence
challenge, this court examines the "inclination of the
greater amount of credible evidence, offered at a trial, to
support one side of the issue rather than the other."
State v. Barnett, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2011-09-
177, 2012-Ohio-2372, ¶ 14. In conducting such a review,
this court must look at the entire record, weigh the evidence
and all reasonable inferences, consider the credibility of
the witnesses, and determine whether in resolving the
conflicts in the evidence, the trier of fact clearly lost its
way and created such a manifest miscarriage of justice that
the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered.
State v. Morgan, 12th Dist. Butler Nos.
CA2013-08-146 and CA2013-08-147, 2014-Ohio-2472, ¶ 34.
"While appellate review includes the responsibility to
consider the credibility of witnesses and weight given to the
evidence, 'these issues are primarily matters for the
trier of fact to decide.'" State v. Barnes,
12th Dist. Brown No. CA2010-06-009, 2011-Ohio-5226, ¶
81, quoting State v. Walker, 12th Dist. Butler No.
CA2006-04-085, 2007-Ohio-911, ¶ 26. An appellate court,
therefore, will overturn a conviction due to the manifest
weight of the evidence only in extraordinary circumstances
when the evidence presented at trial weighs heavily in favor
of acquittal. State v. Blair, 12th Dist. Butler No.
CA2014-01-023, 2015-Ohio-818, ¶ 43.
24, 2017 ...