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State v. Handyside

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 13, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOHN HANDYSIDE, III Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-18-627283-A

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, and Michael Lisk and Erin Stone, Assistant County Prosecutors, for appellee.

          Patrick S. Lavelle, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          ANITA LASTER MAYS, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant-defendant John Handyside, III ("Handyside") appeals his conviction and asks this court to reverse the judgment of the trial court. We affirm the trial court's decision.

         {¶ 2} After a bench trial, Handyside was convicted of abduction, a third-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2905.02(A)(2); and assault, a first-degree misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A). Handyside was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 3} On March 26, 2018, Sarah Vidmar ("Vidmar") went for a run. As she was running, she noticed Handyside crossing the street towards her. Once Vidmar realized that Handyside was running towards her, she tried to get out of his way and tripped over an obstruction. When she fell, Handyside jumped on top of her and held her down. Vidmar repeatedly told Handyside to stop, but he continued to hold her down, grabbing, pushing, and hitting her in the face. Vidmar broke free, and attempted to run, but Handyside grabbed her again and pushed her back down. Vidmar began yelling for help. Justin Frankmann ("Frankmann"), who was out walking his dog, heard Vidmar yelling for help, and ran to assist. Frankmann pushed Handyside off of Vidmar. Without saying a word, Handyside walked away.

         (¶ 4} Galen Fuller ("Fuller") and Veronica Rose ("Rose") witnessed the attack from their car. Both saw Handyside dart across the street and punch Vidmar in the face. Fuller, who was driving the car, turned around and drove to the location of the attack. He jumped out of the vehicle and confronted Handyside along with Frankmann. Rose called 911, and Fuller followed Handyside in his vehicle while Rose was on the phone with 911, giving updates on Handyside's location.

         {¶ 5} Two police officers responded to the emergency call and interviewed Vidmar. She told them that while on her daily run Handyside attacked her. The officers were then notified of Handyside's location and detained him upon their arrival. Handyside told the officers that he saw a woman fall and tried to help her. The officers brought Handyside back to the scene of the incident, where Vidmar was waiting. Vidmar and the other witnesses identified Handyside as the man who attacked her.

         {¶ 6} Handyside was charged with kidnapping, with an attached sexual motivation specification, abduction, gross sexual imposition, and assault. Handyside, pursuant to Crim.R. 29, asked the trial court "to direct verdicts of acquittal" as to the sexual motivation specification contained in Count 1, kidnapping, as well as Count 3, the gross sexual imposition; the court granted the motion as to both specifications. (Tr. 95-96.) The trial court found Handyside not guilty of kidnapping, but guilty of abduction and assault. The trial court sentenced Handyside to 18 months imprisonment, and Handyside filed this appeal of his conviction of the abduction charge only. He assigns two errors for our review:

I. The [trier of fact's] determination in lower court was against the manifest weight of evidence; and
II. There was not sufficient evidence presented to the trier of fact in the lower court proceeding to convict the appellant of Count 2 of the indictment.

         II. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         A. ...


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