Ohio Lottery Loser's Tall Tale

Ohio woman has fraud, assault, trespass convictions

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Battle Trespass

Battle Fraud

Battle Jury Verdict

"Keying" Incident

Elecia Battle Lawsuit

1/9 UPDATE: Battle charged for filing false report

1/8 UPDATE: Elecia Battle today admitted that her story of lottery woe was fiction and that she was dropping a lawsuit filed against the real Mega Millions winner. Through tears, Battle told reporters, "I wanted to win so bad for my kids and my family. I apologize." She added, "I'm not a bad person, I'm really not." Lt. Kevin Nietert, a spokesman for the South Euclid Police Department, told TSG that he now expected charges to be filed against Battle for filing a false police report regarding her supposedly lost ticket.

JANUARY 6--The Ohio woman who told police that she purchased--and then lost--the winning $162 million Mega Millions lottery ticket has several arrests on her rap sheet, including convictions for assault and credit card fraud, The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to court records and TSG sources, Battle's rap sheet dates back at least a decade and includes busts for aggravated menacing, assault, criminal trespass, and credit card fraud. The latter conviction, according to this Richmond Heights Police Department report, stemmed from a 1998 swindle Battle orchestrated at a suburban Cleveland business where she worked. She was nabbed for using the credit card number of a customer to make several purchases of groceries and pharmaceuticals at the store, a Finast Supermarket.

Asked about her criminal history, Battle told the Associated Press that she was charged, but not convicted. "I'm done with that," she said. "It makes me look like I'm a bad person. Everybody has bad in the past. I'm not even worried about that, really." Battle's assertion does not square with court records, however. In fact, the credit card conviction came after a Municipal Court jury found her guilty (click here to see the jury's signed verdict).

In each criminal case discovered by TSG, Battle was charged under the name Elecia Dickson. She was married for 13 years to Keith Dickson, from whom she recently divorced (she subsequently married one Jimmie Battle). Keith Dickson--who was unaware that a divorce decree had recently been entered against him in Cuyahoga County's Court of Common Pleas--was not surprised by Elecia's incredible story of losing the Mega Millions ticket. "My wife can stretch things out of proportion," he said. "Looks like she filed a bogus police report."

Battle was also involved in a running feud with a woman having a relationship with her estranged husband. On three occasions during 2000-01, cops in South Euclid investigated Battle for harassment and vandalism, including one episode during which she allegedly "keyed" Debra Coleman's car. According to a police report, Battle believed that her husband was inside Coleman's house and, in retaliation, scratched the words "fuck my husb" on the trunk of Coleman's Oldsmobile. South Euclid cops referred the case to a Cuyahoga County grand jury, but it is unclear what legal action was taken.

The mug shot above was taken following Battle's September 1999 arrest in Cleveland Heights for misdemeanor assault. The booking photo at right is from Battle's credit card bust. As a result of her assorted criminal cases, Battle has been fined, placed on probation, and hit with suspended sentences of up to six months. To date, she has avoided anything but short stays in jail.

This afternoon, Battle filed a lawsuit seeking to block the awarding of the Mega Millions jackpot to Rebecca Jemison, the woman who came forward today to claim the lottery jackpot (and who was declared the winner by Ohio state officials). On January 2, Battle filed this report with the South Euclid Police Department claiming that she lost the Mega Millions winning ticket.

In addition to her criminal court actions, Battle also has some familiarity with the civil side of the legal system. She was the plaintiff in two negligence lawsuits, one of which involved allegations that her daughter ingested a tainted milk shake at a Cleveland area McDonald's. The other lawsuit centered on an injury claim against the local gas company.