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State v. In re R. W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

January 30, 2003

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-appellee
v.
IN RE: R. W., A MINOR, Defendant-appellant

Civil appeal from Juvenile Court, Case No. 01105513

For plaintiff-appellee: WILLIAM D. MASON, ESQ. CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR MATTHEW D. GOLISH, ESQ. Asst. Prosecuting Attorney

For defendant-appellant: DAVID BODIKER, ESQ. STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER LISA F. THOMPSON, ESQ. Asst. State Public Defender

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

DIANE KARPINSKI, JUDGE

{¶1} Fourteen-year-old defendant-appellant R. W. appeals the trial court's finding of delinquency for burglary and the discrepancy between the journalized terms of his commitment for that burglary and the term stated at the dispositional hearing.[1] Between 11:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. on a summer night, the victim's house was broken into and her purse, tools, CD player and various other items were stolen. Her car and house key were also missing. The victim reported the thefts to the police. Several days later, while sitting on their porch a couple saw a child driving a car and questioned him and his young companion but did not believe their explanation. The couple called the police, who discovered that the car belonged to the victim.

{¶2} The couple described the children to the police and they subsequently identified the driver of the car as defendant. The police arrested two minors, and then arrested three more minors, who were found to have some of the victim's items in their possession. The key to the victim's house was found at defendant's home.

{¶3} The minors engaged in finger-pointing at each other as to who actually broke into the victim's house. One of them, after he had admitted to the charges and was already confined, testified that defendant was the one who actually entered the house, but another minor denied this accusation.

{¶4} A few days before his adjudicatory hearing, defendant ran away from his confinement at Jones Home. At the adjudicatory hearing, he admitted the charge of receiving stolen property but denied the burglary charge. The court nonetheless found him delinquent for burglary and set the dispositional hearing for several days later.

{¶5} At his dispositional hearing, the court addressed defendant's added escape charge as well as the sentencing for his robbery and receiving stolen property charge. He admitted to attempted escape and the court told him: "I could lock you up for what, a minimum of two years? But on file, I'll 7529 the escape, the felony four, the attempted escape. I'm going to commit you to the Ohio Department of Youth Services on that. It is a minimum of six months.

{¶6} "They can hold you till you reach the age of twenty-one (21). *** That will be deferred to this file for this disposition. And then the 5513 [the burglary charge] is a referral to victim aid, if and when you are ever in a position to pay some damages on the car, you will.

{¶7} "There is a suspended ODYS commitment there. And further disposition, it is referred to the 7529." Tr. September 24, 2001, at 10-11. Emphasis added.

{¶8} This hearing was journalized on October 3, 2001. The journal entry differed, however, from the statements the court made at the hearing concerning the possible length of confinement. It states: "the child is committed to the legal care and custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services pursuant to Section 2151.355(A)(5)(a) of the Ohio Revised Code for institutionalization in a secure facility for an indefinite term consisting of a minimum period of one year and a maximum period not to exceed the child's attainment of the age of twenty-one (21) years."

{¶9} Defendant appealed, stating two assignments of error. For his first assignment of error, defendant states:

{¶10} "I. THE TRIAL COURT VIOLATED [R. W.]'S RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS UNDER THE FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE I, SECTION 16 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION WHEN IT ADJUDICATED HIM DELINQUENT OF BURGLARY, WHEN THAT FINDING ...


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