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City of Cleveland v. Glaros

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 2, 2018

CITY OF CLEVELAND PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
KAREN GLAROS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2017 TRD 030246

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Timothy Young State of Ohio Public Defender BY: Christina Madriguera Assistant Public Defender

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara Langhenry City of Cleveland Director of Law BY: Bryan Fritz Assistant City Prosecutor

          BEFORE: KILBANE, P.J., STEWART, J., AND JONES, J.

          JUDGMENT

          MARY EILEEN KILBANE, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Karen Glaros ("Glaros"), appeals from her conviction for a violation of Cleveland Codified Ordinance ("C.C.O") 435.05(a)(1), allowing a nonlicensed driver to drive ("wrongful entrustment of a motor vehicle"). For the reasons set forth below, we reverse and remand.

         {¶2} In October 2017, the city of Cleveland ("the City") filed a complaint charging Glaros with a single count of wrongful entrustment. In December 2017, this matter proceeded to trial before the bench.

         {¶3} The following was adduced at trial through the testimony of Cleveland Police Officer Charles Holcomb ("Officer Holcomb"). In September 2017, Officer Holcomb and his colleagues conducted a driver's license check point. As part of the check point, Officer Holcomb randomly stopped a gray Honda. After talking with the driver of the vehicle, Kent Bowden ("Bowden"), Officer Holcomb determined that Bowden had a suspended license, and cited him for driving under suspension.

         {¶4} Eventually, Glaros, the owner of the vehicle, arrived at the check point. Officer Holcomb cited Glaros, in his words, for "allowing another person to drive the vehicle who had no legal right to do so." Officer Holcomb testified that Glaros told him she had to get back to work, and was in a hurry to leave. He acknowledged that he did not have much conversation with Glaros other than advising her that "[Bowden's license] was suspended, he shouldn't be driving her car." Officer Holcomb asked Glaros for her driver's license in order to determine whether she was the owner of the vehicle. After Officer Holcomb returned Glaros's license, Glaros got into a cab and left the area.

         {¶5} Officer Holcomb testified that he was "not a hundred percent sure what the relationship is between [Bowden and Glaros]. * * * I just know the car belonged to [Glaros, ] and [Bowden] * * * was driving it."

         {¶6} At the conclusion of the City's evidence, the defense moved for acquittal under Crim.R. 29, arguing that "[t]he City has failed to prove any evidence that [Glaros] knew the car being in someone else['s] hands. Also [the City] failed to prove that she knew what that person's driving status was."

         {¶7} The trial court denied defense counsel's Crim.R. 29 motion, and found Glaros guilty of the single count of wrongful entrustment. The trial court ordered Glaros to pay a $1, 000 fine as well as court costs and sentenced her to 180 days in jail, suspending $900 of the fine and the entire jail sentence. The trial court further ordered Glaros's sentence to be held in abeyance pending appeal.

         {¶8} It is from this order that Glaros appeals, raising the following two assignments of error for our review:

         Assignment ...


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