FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE WAYNE COUNTY MUNICIPAL COURT
COUNTY OF WAYNE, OHIO CASE Nos. 2017 CR-B 002198 2017 CR-B
002201 2017 CR-B 002199 2017 CR-B 002200
A. JOHNSTON, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and ANDREA D. UHLER, Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
J. CARR Judge.
Appellant, Dennis Briggs, appeals the judgments of the Wayne
County Municipal Court. This Court affirms.
This matter stems out of a series of alleged criminal
trespasses that occurred at Humboldt Square, a shopping plaza
in Wooster, Ohio. Four separate criminal complaints were
filed against Briggs in the Wayne County Municipal Court.
Briggs was homeless at the time of the alleged incidents. In
each complaint, Briggs was charged with a sole count of
criminal trespass in violation of R.C. 2911.21(A)(3). In Case
No. 2017CR-B002201, Briggs was charged with trespassing on
the premises of Stephen Landers on December 14, 2017. In Case
No. 2017CR-B002199, Briggs was charged with trespassing on
the premises of Davita Wooster Dialysis on December 16, 2017.
In Case No. 2017CR-B002198, Briggs was charged with
trespassing on the premises of Stephen Landers on December
18, 2017. Finally, in Case No. 2017CR-B002200, Briggs was
charged with trespassing on the premises of Acceptance
Insurance on December 19, 2017. Briggs pleaded not guilty to
the charges at arraignment.
A public defender was appointed to represent Briggs in the
aforementioned cases. Thereafter, the public defender moved
to withdraw due to communication issues with Briggs. The
trial court granted the motion and the matter proceeded with
Briggs representing himself. The State successfully moved to
consolidate Case No. 2017CR-B002198 and Case No.
2017CR-B002201 and transfer them to the docket of the judge
who was presiding over Case No. 2017CR-B002199 and Case No.
All four cases were initially scheduled to be tried together.
On the date of trial, however, the State moved for a
continuance on the grounds that two essential witnesses had
failed to appear. After discussing whether those witnesses
were essential to each individual count, the trial court
granted the motion in part and continued the trial for two of
the cases. The other two cases proceeded to trial as
On February 23, 2018, the trial court held a bench trial on
the charges in Case No. 2017CR-B002198 and Case No.
2017CR-B002201. One month later, on March 23, 2018, a bench
trial was held on the charges in Case No. 2017CR-B002199 and
Case No. 2017CR-B002200. The trial court found Briggs guilty
of all four counts of criminal trespass. The trial court
sentenced Briggs to a total of 30 days in jail.
On appeal, Briggs raises two assignments of error. This Court
rearranges Briggs' assignments of error to facilitate
OF ERROR II
CONVICTION WAS BASED ON INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AS A MATTER OF
LAW AND WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.
In his second assignment of error, Briggs contends that his
convictions were not supported by sufficient evidence and
were against the manifest weight of the evidence. This Court
Briggs was convicted of four counts of criminal trespass in
violation of R.C. 2911.21(A)(3), which states:
No person, without privilege to do so, shall * * *
[r]ecklessly enter or remain on the land or premises of
another, as to which notice against unauthorized access or
presence is given by actual communication to the offender, or
in a manner prescribed by law, or by posting in a manner
reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential
intruders, or by fencing or other enclosure manifestly
designed to restrict access[.]
Pursuant to R.C. 2901.22(C), a person acts
"recklessly" when "with heedless indifference
to the consequences, the person disregards a substantial and
unjustifiable risk that the person's conduct is likely to
cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain
nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances
when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, the
person disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that
such circumstances are likely to exist." "Land or
premises" is defined as "any land, building,
structure, or place belonging to, controlled by, or in
custody of another, and any separate enclosure or room, or
portion thereof." R.C. 2911.21(F)(2).
"Privilege" is defined as "immunity, license,
or right conferred by law, bestowed by express or implied
grant, arising out of status, position, office or
relationship, or growing out of necessity." R.C.