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State v. Schell

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

July 17, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
ERIC A. SCHELL Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE AKRON MUNICIPAL COURT COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 17 CRB 06166

          ALAN M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          EVE V. BELFANCE, Director of Law, and BRIAN D. BREMER, Assistant Director of Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER L. HENSAL JUDGE.

         {¶1} Eric Schell appeals his convictions for criminal damaging and criminal trespassing in the Akron Municipal Court. For the following reasons, this Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} Mr. Jones hired a fencing company to install a fence along the property line he shared with Mr. Schell. After the fencing company set the posts for the fence in concrete, Mr. Schell allegedly shook one of the posts, requiring the company to re-set it. Officer Anthony Molea, who was providing security during the installation, subsequently charged Mr. Schell with one count of criminal damaging and one count of criminal trespassing. A jury found Mr. Schell guilty of the offenses, and the municipal court sentenced him to 60 days in jail, which it suspended. Mr. Schell has appealed, assigning two errors.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

         APPELLANT'S CONVICTION WAS BASED UPON INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUSTAIN CONVICTION. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY DENYING APPELLANT'S CRIM.R. 29 MOTION.

         {¶3} Mr. Schell argues that the trial court incorrectly denied the motion for acquittal that he made after the State rested its case. Under Criminal Rule 29(A), a defendant is entitled to a judgment of acquittal on a charge against him "if the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction * * *." Whether a conviction is supported by sufficient evidence is a question of law, which we review de novo. State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380, 386 (1997). In making this determination, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution:

An appellate court's function when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a criminal conviction is to examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine whether such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1991), paragraph two of the syllabus.

         {¶4} Officer Molea charged Mr. Schell with criminal damaging and criminal trespassing. The criminal damaging statute provides that no person, by any means, shall knowingly "cause, or create a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of another without the other person's consent[.]" R.C. 2909.06(A)(1). "A person acts knowingly, regardless of purpose, when the person is aware that the person's conduct will probably cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A person has knowledge of circumstances when the person is aware that such ...


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