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State v. Lambert

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Putnam

September 3, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ERIC D. LAMBERT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          Appeal from Putnam County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 2018 CR 011

         Judgment Affirmed

          Elizabeth H. Smith for Appellant

          Katherine G. Porter for Appellee

          WILLAMOWSKI, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Eric D. Lambert ("Lambert") appeals the judgment of the Putnam County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that the trial court erred by failing to grant his Crim.R. 29 motion in full. For the reasons set forth below, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On January 18, 2018, Lambert was indicted on one count of domestic violence as a felony of the fourth degree ("felony domestic violence") in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), (D)(3). Doc. 1. Generally, a violation of R.C. 2919.25(A) is a misdemeanor of the first degree ("misdemeanor domestic violence"). R.C. 2919.25(D)(2). However, "if the offender previously has * * * been convicted of domestic violence * * * a violation of division (A) or (B) of [R.C. 2919.25] is a felony of the fourth degree * * *." R.C. 2919.25(D)(3). Under R.C. 2945.75(B)(1),

R.C. 2945.75(B)(1).

         {¶3} At trial, on July 10, 2018, the State introduced a certified copy of a domestic violence conviction for an "Eric Lambert." Tr. 157-158. After the State rested, the Defense made a Crim.R. 29 motion. Tr. 163-164. The Defense argued that the trial court should dismiss the charges against Lambert because the State failed to offer evidence that the "Eric Lambert" listed on the certified copy of the domestic violence conviction was, in fact, the same person as the defendant in this case. Tr. 163-165. The trial court then denied this motion. Tr. 165.

         {¶4} On July 11, 2018, the jury found Lambert to be guilty of one count of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), (D)(3). Doc. 55. The Defense then then renewed his Crim.R. 29 motion after the verdict. Tr. 200. The trial court denied this motion. Tr. 200. On July 12, 2018, Lambert filed another Crim.R. 29 motion with the trial court. Doc. 59. In this motion, Lambert argued that his conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence because the State did not comply with R.C. 2945.75(B)(1) by failing to introduce "evidence sufficient to identify the defendant named in the entry as the offender in the case at bar." R.C. 2945.75(B)(1). Doc. 59.

         {¶5} On July 25, 2018, the trial court found Lambert's argument to have merit and partially granted Lambert's Crim.R. 29 motion. Doc. 61. The trial court then determined that the evidence provided at trial by the State established all of the elements of "the first-degree misdemeanor version of the offense of domestic violence." Doc. 61. Thus, the trial court found that Lambert's conviction would "stand as to the lesser included [offense of] Domestic Violence," which was "a misdemeanor of the first degree." Doc. 61. Lambert was convicted of domestic violence as a first degree misdemeanor and sentenced on July 25, 2018. Doc. 64.

         Assignment of Error

         {¶6} Appellant filed his notice of appeal on August 31, 2018. Doc. 68. On appeal, appellant raises ...


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