State v. Rawson

2006 WL 279003 (2006)

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State v. Rawson

Ohio Court of Appeals
2006 WL 279003 (2006)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Douglas Rawson (defendant) and Greg Metcalf were in the same restaurant. While waiting to use the restroom, Metcalf started talking to a woman who was waiting with Rawson’s wife to enter the ladies’ room. Rawson followed Metcalf into the men’s room. Metcalf ended up covered in blood with a broken nose and teeth. Rawson was indicted for felonious assault. At trial, Metcalf testified that a man walked into the restroom and struck him in the face. Other witnesses testified that they saw Metcalf crawl out of the restroom while Rawson was kicking him. Rawson testified that he mistook Metcalf for one of his stepdaughter’s male friends who would pretend to flirt with Rawson’s wife, and Rawson decided to go over and, as usual, jokingly tell his stepdaughter’s friend to stop hitting on his wife. According to Rawson, he slammed open the bathroom door, hit a partition, said, “What are you doin’ hitting on my old lady,” pushed Metcalf, and, when he discovered his mistake, turned to leave. Metcalf then hit Rawson in the jaw and arm. Rawson pushed Metcalf into the wall and was starting to leave when Metcalf grabbed him from behind, and the two wrestled. Rawson’s arm struck something, but he did not know what. As the men left the bathroom, Metcalf fell in front of Rawson’s feet. Rawson denied having kicked or punched Metcalf. The court declined to include a jury instruction on the defense of mistake of fact. Instead, the court instructed the jury on how to determine whether Rawson “knowingly” committed felonious assault. Rawson was convicted and argued on appeal that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on the mistake-of-fact defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (DeGenaro, J.)

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