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State v. Sexton

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

February 4, 2005

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee.
v.
TERRI L. SEXTON Defendant-Appellant.

(Criminal Appeal from Municipal Court) T.C. CASE NOS. 04CRB158

Betsy Boyer, Asst. Fairborn Prosecutor, Atty. Reg. No. 0076747 Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Marc N. Greenberg, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

OPINION

GRADY, J.

{¶ 1} This is an appeal from a one-year sentence of incarceration imposed by the Fairborn Municipal Court on a conviction entered after a plea of guilty to one charge each of Telephone Harassment, Aggravated Trespass, and Aggravated Menacing.

{¶ 2} During the evening of January 30, 2003, Defendant, Terri Sexton, went to the apartment of her former boyfriend where she made repeated threats to break out his windows, place a bomb in his mailbox, and have his legs broken. She had, prior to that date, left messages on his telephone answering machine threatening other bodily injury. Police were summoned and they arrested Sexton.

{¶ 3} Sexton plead guilty to charges of Aggravated Trespassing, Aggravated Menacing, and Telephone Harassment in exchange for the State's agreement to dismiss other charges. The court accepted her plea and sentenced her to a $300 fine and two consecutive terms of confinement of 180 days. Sexton filed a timely appeal.

{¶ 4} APPELLANT'S FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

{¶ 5} "APPELLANT'S PLEA IS NOT VALID IN AS MUCH AS IT WAS NOT MADE KNOWINGLY, INTELLIGENTLY AND VOLUNTARY"

{¶ 6} Sexton argues that her guilty pleas were not knowingly, intelligently, or voluntarily made. She asserts that her hesitation in stating her plea should have caused the court to make a further inquiry into her state of mind. Despite Sexton's assertions to the contrary, that is what happened.

{¶ 7} Crim.R. 11(D) requires that "[i]n misdemeanor cases involving serious offenses, the [trial] court...shall not accept [a] plea without first addressing the defendant personally." The record shows that immediately after the court explained the possible maximum sentences for the charges and the possibility that they could be served consecutively, Sexton expressed some hesitation about her expected plea. The court acknowledged her hesitation and gave Sexton an opportunity to discuss her concerns with defense counsel. After a brief recess, the court went back on the record to ask:

{¶ 8} THE COURT: "How is Ms. Sexton going to plead today?"

{¶ 9} THE DEFENDANT: "Guilty."

{ΒΆ 10} THE COURT: "Are you pleading guilty to all three ...


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