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City of Cleveland v. Scott

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 19, 2019

CITY OF CLEVELAND, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DEZMOND SCOTT, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2018CRB019685

          Barbara A. Langhenry, Cleveland Director of Law, and Thomas A. Fisher, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Mate Rimac, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Dezmond Scott, ("Scott"), appeals his conviction for menacing by stalking. He raises two assignments of error for our review:

1. Insufficient evidence supported the trial court's finding of guilty for menacing by stalking.
2. The manifest weight of the evidence did not support appellant's conviction of menacing by stalking.

         {¶ 2} Finding no merit to his assignments of error, we affirm.

         I. Procedural History and Factual Background

         {¶ 3} On November 1, 2018, the city of Cleveland filed a complaint against Scott, charging him with one count of menacing by stalking in violation of R.C. 2903.211(A), a misdemeanor of the first degree.

         {¶ 4} On November 29, 2018, Scott pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the case proceeded to a bench trial on January 29, 2019, during which the following evidence was presented.

         {¶5} N.L. and Scott, who are not married, have a one-year-old child together and have shared parenting. According to N.L. and Scott, the shared parenting plan provided that Scott would have visitation with their daughter every other week on either Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday or on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Scott testified that he never has visitation on Thursdays.

         {¶ 6} On Thursday, October 25, 2018, N.L. was working at the Subway on Clark Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. She dropped her daughter off at her niece's house prior to work. N.L. stated that Scott called her "a bunch of times" that morning and when she told him that their daughter was with N.L.'s niece, Scott said he did not give N.L. permission to leave their daughter with the niece and that N.L. needed his permission to do so. Later, around 10 a.m. that same day, Scott showed up at Subway and demanded to see his daughter. N.L. said that Scott came in, started an argument, ordered food, sat down, and then continued to argue with her. N.L. testified that Scott told her that he was going to take their daughter away from N.L. and that Scott was going to bring his new girlfriend to N.L.'s house to "squash whatever beef [they had]." N.L. said that Scott "just kept going, talking about what he was [going to] do, how he was [going to] do it, and sitting there, just, steadily, laughing, like everything's a joke." N.L. stated it was not the first time Scott threatened to take their daughter away from her. N.L. stated that Scott never physically threatened her or their daughter, but he threatened that his new girlfriend would "beat up" N.L. N.L. testified that the incident caused her mental distress, saying, "I couldn't think to work that rest of that day."

         {¶ 7} Scott testified that he and N.L. had "no issues" on October 25, and denied saying that his new ...


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