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State v. Dahms

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Ottawa

August 2, 2019

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Nicholas B. Dahms Appellant

          Trial Court No. CRB 1801217A

          James J. VanEerten, Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney, and Blake W. Skilliter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Howard C. Whitcomb, III, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          OSOWIK, J.

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal from an October 26, 2018 judgment of the Ottawa County Municipal Court, sentencing appellant to a 180-day jail term following appellant's conviction on one count of domestic violence, in violation of R.C. 2919.25, a misdemeanor of the first degree. For the reasons set forth below, this court affirms the judgment of the trial court.

         {¶ 2} Appellant, Nicholas Dahms, sets forth the following assignment of error:

I. THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN IMPOSING A MAXIMUM SENTENCE UPON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT AS IT WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.

         {¶ 3} The following undisputed facts are relevant to this appeal. On September 30, 2018, officers from the Port Clinton Police Department were dispatched to an apartment complex in connection to reports of a woman being assaulted, screaming for help, and asking for someone to contact the police.

         {¶ 4} Upon arrival at the scene, police discovered the victim, with whom appellant has a son who was three-weeks old at the time of these events. The responding officers observed multiple scratches and red marks upon her body indicative of having just been physically assaulted. In the interim, appellant had jumped a fence and fled the scene prior to the arrival of the police.

         {¶ 5} In response to this incident, the officers conducted an investigation, including multiple witness interviews. The investigating officers learned that in the course of a verbal dispute, appellant physically restrained the victim, then repeatedly struck and choked the victim. The victim had been holding their infant son when this incident commenced. Fortunately, the child was not injured.

         {¶ 6} As a result of this incident, appellant was charged with one count of domestic violence, in violation of R.C. 2919.25, a misdemeanor of the first degree. On October 10, 2018, appellant pled no contest. A presentence investigation report was ordered. On October 26, 2018, the case proceeded to sentencing.

         {¶ 7} At sentencing, the trial court noted that appellant was on parole for a prior felony arson conviction at the time of this incident. The trial court further noted that appellant's criminal history included arson, tampering with evidence, theft, and driving under the influence. Appellant failed to participate in recommended services in connection to past offenses. Appellant failed to pay the court ordered restitution arising in the prior theft conviction. Appellant acknowledged that a parole violation was pending against him due to the instant case.

         {¶ 8} The trial court sentenced appellant to a period of 180 days in jail, with credit for time served. The record reflects that appellant became aggressive and confrontational towards the trial court upon the announcement of the sentence. The record reflects the trial court attempted to diffuse appellant's adversarial outburst.

         {¶ 9} Upon announcement of the sentence, appellant retorted, "What? Six months?" The trial court replied, "Easy. Take it easy." The trial court proceeded to advise, "You are going to want to hold it. Okay. I respect the fact that you don't agree ...


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