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Date: 06-10-2021

Case Style:

State of Ohio v. Alliya Crenshaw Rottman

Case Number: L-20-1061

Judge: Thomas J Osowik


Plaintiff's Attorney: Julia R. Bates, Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney, and Lauren Carpenter, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Defendant's Attorney:

Toledo, Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Toledo, Ohio - Criminal defense attorney represented Alliya Crenshaw Rottman with a felonious assault charge.

After a jury trial, appellant was found guilty. On February 19, 2020,
Crenshaw Rottman was sentenced to serve an indefinite term of imprisonment in the
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections of a minimum of two years up to a
maximum of three years.
{¶ 3} Appellant timely filed an appeal from that judgment. She presents three
assignments of error to this court:
{¶ 4} In her first assignment of error, Crenshaw Rottman attacks the
constitutionality of the Reagan Tokes Act, aka Senate Bill 201, arguing that it violates the
doctrine of separation of powers and due process rights afforded to her under the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Ohio Constitution.
{¶ 5} The Reagan Tokes Act (“Act”) went into effect in Ohio on March 22,
2019. R.C. 2901.011. The Act requires a sentencing court imposing a prison term
under R.C. 2929.14(A)(1)(a) or (2)(a), on or after the effective date, to order a minimum 3.
prison term under that provision and a maximum prison term as determined by R.C.
2929.144(B). The Act also sets forth a presumption that an offender “shall be released
from service of the sentence on the expiration of the offender’s minimum prison term or
on the offender’s presumptive earned early release date, whichever is earlier.” R.C.
2967.271(B). The offender’s presumptive earned early release date is determined
under R.C. 2967.271(F), which permits the sentencing court to reduce the minimum term
under certain circumstances. R.C. 2967.271(A)(2). The Department of Rehabilitation
and Corrections may rebut the R.C. 2967.271(B) presumption if it determines at a hearing
that certain statutorily enumerated factors apply. R.C. 2967.271(C). If the Department
rebuts the presumption, it may maintain the offender’s incarceration after the expiration
of the minimum prison term or presumptive earned early release date for a reasonable
period of time, which “shall not exceed the offender’s maximum prison term.” R.C.
{¶ 6} We will note, however, that appellant’s constitutional challenge to the statute was
not presented to the trial court and the issue makes its first appearance before this appellate
panel. It is well-established that failure to raise at the trial court level the issue of the
constitutionality of a statute or its application, which issue is apparent at the time of trial,
constitutes a waiver of such issue and a deviation from the state’s orderly procedure, and
therefore need not be heard for the first time on appeal. State v. Awan, 22 Ohio St.3d 120, 489
N.E.2d 277 (1986), syllabus. 4.
{¶ 7} However, a court has the right to consider constitutional challenges in its
discretion, even if the argument was waived in specific cases of plain error where the
rights and interests involved may warrant it. See In re M.D., 38 Ohio St.3d 149, 527
N.E.2d 286 (1988). However, this requires an appealing party to demonstrate that, but
for plain or obvious error, the outcome of the proceeding would have been otherwise, and
a reversal is necessary to correct a manifest injustice. State v. Quarterman, 140 Ohio
St.3d 464, 2014-Ohio-4034, 19 N.E.3d 900, ¶ 16. The burden of establishing plain error
is on the party asserting it. Id. Appellant has not raised an argument of plain error and
we decline to raise it sua sponte. State v. Wright, 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-19-1213, 2021-
Ohio-364, ¶ 20-21. As such, appellant’s first assignment of error is found not well-taken.
{¶ 8} Appellant’s second assignment of error claims that the evidence presented at
trial was insufficient to support a conviction for felonious assault.
{¶ 9} Sufficiency of the evidence is a legal standard that tests whether the
evidence is legally adequate to support the verdict. In reviewing a challenge to
the sufficiency of evidence, the 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. State v. Smith, 80
Ohio St.3d 89, 113, 684 N.E.2d 668 (1997). In making that determination, the appellate
court will not weigh the evidence or assess the credibility of the witnesses. State v.
Walker, 55 Ohio St.2d 208, 212, 378 N.E.2d 1049 (1978). 5.
{¶ 10} The offense of felonious assault, as set forth in R.C. 2903.11 provides, in
relevant part that:
(A) No person shall knowingly do either of the following:
(1) Cause serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn;
{¶ 11} At trial, testimony established that in the early morning hours of July 7,
2019, the victim was at the home of a male acquaintance when both were awakened
around 4:00 a.m. by the sound of the bedroom window breaking. They went outside
where they saw appellant holding a hammer. She engaged in an argument with the
victim, while waving the hammer. The confrontation escalated into a physical fight. The
male acquaintance stepped in between them. Appellant returned to her car. The male
and the victim remained outside. The appellant then stepped on the gas. The tires
screeched and rubber peeled from the tires. Appellant then drove her car over the curb,
over the grass and into the victim.
{¶ 12} Medical reports from the hospital indicated that the victim sustained a
fractured ankle and lacerations on her leg that required multiple staples.
{¶ 13} A detective took photographs of the injuries that showed severe injuries to
the victim, including leg injuries, lacerations to her leg, swelling foot and a tire mark on
her right leg. Also, he had taken photographs of the scene itself, showing tire marks on
the curb and torn-up grass off the curb. These exhibits were admitted into evidence.
{¶ 14} The victim also testified concerning a Facebook Live video taken by
appellant in which appellant stated that she “should have smoked” the victim. 6.
{¶ 15} Also admitted into evidence were recordings of jail phone calls from the
appellant to the male acquaintance. Appellant told the male to “fix” his statement so that
the charges against her would be dropped. The male indicated that he told the police that
he did not see the victim struck by the car. In response, appellant said “that’s better than
what I was going to tell you to say, which was that the bitch got in my way.” The male
ultimately could not be located and did not testify at trial.
{¶ 16} Appellant testified that she was indeed responsible for breaking the
apartment window with a hammer. She described it as an “accident.” She also testified
that only the male came out of the apartment in response to the window being broken.
She also stated that the victim pulled her out of her own car and then pulled her hair.
Appellant claimed that she kicked the victim in self-defense. She also testified that she
left the area and never ran over the victim.
{¶ 17} On cross-examination, she admitted to the jail phone call and further
claimed that her heel had caused the broken bone and lacerations on the victim’s leg but
that she only reacted in self-defense.
{¶ 18} Appellant now argues that sufficient evidence did not support a felonious
assault conviction because she was acting in self-defense.
{¶ 19} However, we conclude that, after viewing the evidence in a light most
favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could have found the essential
elements of the crime of felonious assault proven beyond a reasonable doubt. State v.
Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, 574 N.E.2d 492 (1991). 7.
{¶ 20} Therefore, appellant’s second assignment of error is found not well-taken.
{¶ 21} In her final assignment of error, appellant also challenges the weight of the
evidence. Under a manifest weight standard, an appellate court must sit as a “thirteenth
juror” and may disagree with the fact-finder’s resolution of the conflicting testimony.
State v. Thompkins, 78 Ohio St.3d 380,387, 678 N.E.2d 541 (1997).
{¶ 22} The appellate court, reviewing the entire record, weighs the evidence and
all reasonable inferences, considers the credibility of witnesses, and determines whether
in resolving conflicts in the evidence, the jury clearly lost its way and created such a
manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed, and a new trial
ordered. The discretionary power to grant a new trial should be exercised only in the
exceptional case in which the evidence weighs heavily against conviction. State v.
Martin, 20 Ohio App.3d 172, 175, 485 N.E.2d 717 (1st Dist.1983).
{¶ 23} In support of her claim, appellant again argues that the evidence
demonstrated that her actions on the day of the offense constitute self-defense, thereby
exonerating her from any criminal liability. Despite this self-serving assertion, we are
not persuaded that the evidence weighs heavily against conviction. Id., Thompkins at
{¶ 24} We cannot conclude that the jury clearly lost its way in finding appellant
guilty. We find that her conviction is not against the manifest weight of the evidence.
Appellant’s third assignment of error is not well-taken.


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