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State v. Diamond

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 25, 2019

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Rusty Diamond, Defendant-Appellee.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Municipal Court M.C. No. 2017 CRB 023639

          On brief: Zach Klein, City Attorney, Lara N. Baker, Melanie R. Tobias, and Orly Ahroni, for appellant.

          Argued: Orly Ahroni.

          On brief: Campbell Law, LLC, and April F Campbell, for appellee.

          Argued: April F. Campbell.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, State of Ohio, appeals from a decision and entry of the Franklin County Municipal Court granting in part and denying in part the motion to suppress of defendant-appellee, Rusty Diamond. For the following reasons, we reverse.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} By complaint filed November 11, 2017, the state charged Diamond with one count of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count of assault in violation of R.C. 2903.13, a first-degree misdemeanor. The complaint stemmed from an incident in which T.T., Diamond's girlfriend and the mother of Diamond's child, called 911 alleging Diamond bit her on the nose. Diamond entered a plea of not guilty and requested a jury trial.

         {¶ 3} Subsequently, on January 29, 2018, Diamond filed a motion to suppress (1)the evidence police obtained following their warrantless entry into Diamond's residence; (2) T.T.'s 911 call; and (3) Diamond's various statements made to police both before and after police gave him Miranda[1] warnings. The state opposed the motion, and the trial court set the matter for a hearing.

         {¶ 4} At the suppression hearing on April 12, 2018, Joshua Bell, an officer with the Columbus Division of Police, testified that on November 10, 2017 he responded to a dispatch to 340 South Powell Avenue where a woman reported having been struck by her child's father and was requesting police presence. The state played T.T.'s 911 call during the hearing during which she says, through sobs, that Diamond bit her nose in front of their son and that she was bleeding. Officer Bell testified he responded to the scene, without running lights and sirens on his police cruiser, with his partner, Officer Jared Randall.

         {¶ 5} The state also played the video recording from Officer Bell's body camera. As depicted in the video, Diamond's house had a solid front door with an accompanying screen door in front of it. When the officers arrived at Diamond's residence and shone their flashlights at the windows, Diamond opened the inner door, stated everything was fine, and said he only opened the door to determine the source of the lights. The officers told Diamond to come outside to talk to them and opened the screen door. T.T. is visible in the video behind Diamond and can be heard talking. Officer Bell testified that T.T. was more visible in person than she is on the video and that she had blood on her. Further, Officer Bell testified he could hear T.T. contradicting Diamond's assertions that everything was fine.

         {¶ 6} Diamond did go outside with the officers to talk to them, at which point T.T.'s son began screaming "daddy." (State's Ex. A at 23:57:24-59.) At that point, T.T. took her son farther into the house and away from the officers out front, but she did not close the inner door. After talking to Diamond for a few minutes but without asking for explicit permission to enter the house from either Diamond or T.T., Officer Bell entered the house and walked to the kitchen where he encountered T.T. and her son. T.T. had blood on her nose, shirt, and pants. While inside the house, Officer Bell obtained an official statement from T.T. regarding the incident.

         {¶ 7} After talking with and observing T.T., Officers Bell and Randall handcuffed Diamond, searched his person, and placed him in a police cruiser. Once inside the cruiser, but before the officers read Diamond his Miranda rights, Diamond talked to the officers for approximately one hour. The state also played the video recording from the camera inside the police ...


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