from Putnam County Municipal Court Trial Court No. 2019 CR B
R. Gordon for Appellant
B. Benchic for Appellee
Defendant-appellant, Benjamin J. Woodruff
("Woodruff"), appeals the June 6, 2019 judgment
entry of sentence of the Putnam County Municipal Court. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
On January 30, 2019, Woodruff was charged with domestic
violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a first-degree
misdemeanor. (Doc. No. 1). Woodruff appeared for arraignment
on February 7, 2019 and entered a plea of not guilty. (Doc.
No. 4). After a bench trial on June 6, 2019, the trial court
found Woodruff guilty of domestic violence. (June 6, 2019 Tr.
at 1); (Doc. No. 22). That same day, the trial court
sentenced to community control, including 180 days in jail,
with 170 days suspended. (Doc. No. 22).
Woodruff filed a notice of appeal on June 7, 2019 and raises
one assignment of error for our review. (Doc. No. 24).
trial court erred in denying Defendant/Appellant's motion
for acquittal pursuant to Ohio Criminal Rule 29, and finding
the Defendant guilty of Domestic Violence, in violation of
R.C. §2919.25(A), a Misdemeanor of the First Degree,
because the alleged victim did not meet the definition of
"family or household member" under R.C.
In his assignment of error, Woodruff argues the trial court
erred by denying his Crim.R. 29 motion for acquittal because
his domestic-violence conviction is based on insufficient
evidence. In particular, Woodruff contends that the State
presented insufficient evidence that Woodruff and the victim,
P.O., were family or household members.
Crim.R. 29(A) provides that a court must order the entry of a
judgment of acquittal of a charged offense "if the
evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction of such
offense." "[T]his Court reviews a denial of a
Crim.R. 29 motion for judgment of acquittal using the same
standard that is used to review a sufficiency of the evidence
claim." State v. Lightner, 3d Dist. Hardin No.
6-08-11, 2009-Ohio-544, ¶ 37, citing State v.
Carter,72 Ohio St.3d 545, 553 (1995). "An
appellate court's function when reviewing the sufficiency
of the evidence to support a criminal conviction is to
examine the evidence admitted at trial to determine whether
such evidence, if believed, would convince the average mind
of the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
State v. Jenks,61 Ohio St.3d 259 (1981), paragraph
two of the syllabus, superseded by state constitutional
amendment on other grounds, State v. Smith, 80 Ohio
St.3d 89, 102 (1997), fn. 4. Accordingly, "[t]he
relevant inquiry is whether, after viewing the evidence in a
light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
proven beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. "In
deciding if the evidence was sufficient, we neither resolve
evidentiary conflicts nor assess the credibility of
witnesses, as both are functions reserved for the trier of
fact." State v. Jones, 1st Dist. Hamilton Nos.
C-120570 and C-120571, 2013- ...