FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE WAYNE COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT
COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2017 CRB 000355
CHRISTINA I. REIHELD, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
TEODOSIO, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Defendant-Appellant, Bryan Fridley, appeals from the judgment
of the Wayne County Municipal Court. This Court affirms.
Mr. Fridley and V.P. had been friends for several years when
they met one night at his mother's house. V.P. had been
increasingly reluctant to spend time with Mr. Fridley because
he had begun to overreact at the end of their evenings. Each
time V.P. would indicate that she needed to leave, Mr.
Fridley would pressure her to stay, would argue with her, and
would accuse her of not caring for him. Though he had
promised not to overreact that evening, Mr. Fridley once
again became upset when V.P. announced that it was time for
her to leave. The two began to argue as they were standing
outside, and V.P. decided to call her father in the hopes
that the call would deter Mr. Fridley. As soon as she dialed
her father's number, however, Mr. Fridley snatched her
cell phone and climbed into his mother's car. V.P. then
followed him inside the car to retrieve her phone.
Mr. Fridley ultimately drove off with V.P. in the car and
refused to stop or take her back to her car. As he began
running stop signs and driving erratically, V.P. screamed for
help and begged Mr. Fridley to let her go. Unbeknownst to
either of them at the time, V.P.'s call to her father had
connected and he listened helplessly as V.P. repeatedly
screamed for help. The incident finally came to an end when
Mr. Fridley lost control of the car and crashed into a ditch.
As a result of the crash, both Mr. Fridley and V.P. sustained
Mr. Fridley was ultimately charged with aggravated menacing,
assault, unlawful restraint, and criminal mischief. A jury
found him not guilty of aggravated menacing and assault, but
guilty of the lesser-included offense of menacing, unlawful
restraint, and criminal mischief. The trial court sentenced
him to jail time, a fine, and one year of community control.
Upon motion, the court stayed the execution of his sentence
for purposes of his appeal.
Mr. Fridley now appeals from his convictions and raises three
assignments of error for our review.
OF ERROR ONE
APPELLANT'S CONVICTIONS FOR MENACING, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF,
AND UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT ARE AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE
EVIDENCE BECAUSE EVIDENCE SUPPORTED THAT THE VICTIM HAD FALSE
MEMORIES SURROUNDING THE EVENTS, AND APPELLANT OFFERED
EVIDENCE THAT HE DID NOT TAKE THE VICTIM'S TELEPHONE, DID
NOT PREVENT HER FROM GETTING OUT OF THE VEHICLE, AND DID NOT
MAKE ANY THREAT OF HARM TO HER.
In his first assignment of error, Mr. Fridley argues that his
convictions are against the manifest weight of the evidence.
We do not agree.
This Court has stated:
In determining whether a criminal conviction is against the
manifest weight of the evidence, an appellate court must
review the entire record, weigh the evidence and all
reasonable inferences, consider the credibility of witnesses
and determine whether, in resolving conflicts in the
evidence, the trier of fact clearly lost its way and created
such a manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction
must be reversed and a new trial ordered.
State v. Otten,
33 Ohio App.3d 339, 340 (9th
Dist.1986). "[W]hen reversing a conviction on the basis
that it was against the manifest weight of the evidence, an
appellate court sits as a 'thirteenth juror,' and
disagrees with the factfinder's resolution of the
conflicting testimony." State v. Tucker, 9th
Dist. Medina No. 06CA0035-M, 2006-Ohio-6914, ¶ 5. This
discretionary power "should be exercised only in the
exceptional case in which the evidence weighs heavily against
the conviction." State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio