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State v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Fairfield

December 20, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
RANDY KEITH FIELDS Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2018 CR 00595

          For Plaintiff-Appellee R. KYLE WITT Fairfield County Prosecuting Attorney By: BRIAN T. WALTZ Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant JAMES A. ANZELMO Anzelmo Law

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          Baldwin, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Randy Keith Fields appeals his conviction and sentence from the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

         {¶2} On September 13, 2018, the Fairfield County Grand Jury indicated appellant on two counts of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2929.25, felonies of the fourth degree. At his arraignment on September 19, 2018, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

         {¶3} A superseding indictment was filed on December 13, 2018, charging appellant with two counts of domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2929.25, felonies of the third degree, one count of disrupting public services in violation of R.C. 2909.04(A)(1) and/or (3) and 2909.04(C), a felony of the fourth degree, and two counts of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) and 2925.11(C)(1)(a), felonies of the fifth degree. At his arraignment on December 19, 2018, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.

         {¶4} Thereafter, a jury trial commenced on January 15, 2019. The following testimony was adduced at trial.

         {¶5} On September 5, 2018, Levi Benner of the Lancaster Police Department was dispatched to the 1100 block of Sugar Grove Road in response to a 911 call about a domestic violence situation. The caller to 911 was Kaelen Friesner. When the officer approached the house, he observed two females out front, Kaelen Friesner and A.G., the juvenile daughter of the victim. The officer spoke with Nikole Miller and A.G. He testified that Miller was crying, visibly upset and had a cut above her right eye. She was using a rag to wipe off the blood so that it did not get in her eye. He also testified that she was actively bleeding at the time.

         {¶6} When Officer Benner entered the house and went into the bedroom shared by Miller and appellant, he observed that the bed had been physically flipped over, clothing was all over the floor and there was blood on the mattress and bed. Miller signed a domestic violence statement that evening and a temporary protection order. When asked, the Officer testified that it was five to seven minutes from the time of the 911 call to the time when the police arrived on the scene. The appellant was not present.

         {¶7} On cross-examination, Officer Benner testified that he did not take the sheets or mattress cover that contained blood spots into evidence or have them tested and did not know whose blood was on the sheets or the mattress cover. He further admitted that Miller did not want to sign the request for a protection order at first and told him that she did not want to get appellant in trouble. On redirect, Officer Benner testified that the blood on the mattress cover and mattress itself appeared to be fresh and that he did not observe anyone else with injuries other than Miller. On recross-examination, he admitted that he did not see appellant that evening and did not know if appellant had injuries.

         {¶8} Nikole Miller testified that she lived at 1041 Sugar Grove Road and that appellant was her boyfriend. She testified that her daughter Kaelen was 18 years old and she had two other children all who lived with her. Miller testified that on September 5, 2018, arrangements had been made to have Christopher Pappas come over to her home to work on her vehicle. When Miller arrived home that day with one of her daughters, she noticed that the bedroom had the mattress flipped over and a bunch of clothes had been pulled out of the dresser onto the floor. In addition, other items had been knocked over. Miller and appellant had been arguing earlier in the day.

         {¶9} Miller then walked out to her detached garage where she had contact with Christopher Pappas. While she was in there talking to Pappas, appellant jumped down from the attic of the garage and the two got into a further argument, Appellant was upset with Miller and the two were yelling at one another. Miller testified that she did not remember appellant pushing her across the garage and did not remember telling the police that he did. A CD from the police body cam, which was marked as an exhibit, was played. On the CD, Miller stated that appellant had pushed her in the garage.

         {¶10} Miller testified that she had a cell phone in the garage with her and that appellant had grabbed the phone and smashed it. Miller then asked her daughter, Kaelen, to call 911. When Miller went into her house, appellant followed her inside and followed her into the bedroom. The following is an excerpt from her testimony:

         {¶11} Q. Okay. When you go into the house and into that bedroom, the Defendant follows you in and follows you into that bedroom; is that correct?

         {¶12} A. Yes.

         {¶13} Q. Okay. And while he's in that bedroom, he pushes, shoves, grabs, does something to your head and hits it up against the dresser causing you to be injured; is that correct?

         {¶14} A. No. That's why I wanted to plead the Fifth earlier.

         {¶15} Q. Well, I don't care why you wanted to plead the Fifth.

         {¶16} A. Okay.

         {¶17} Q. You're saying that that didn't happen.

         {¶18} A. Yep.

         {¶19} Q. Okay. You told them repeatedly, correct, that he had slammed ...


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