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State v. Bowman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

December 14, 2007

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHARLES R. BOWMAN, Defendant-Appellant

(Criminal Appeal from (Common Pleas Court) Trial Court Case No. 05-CR-527

JAMES D. BENNETT, Miami County Prosecutor's Office, Atty. Reg. #0022729, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

CHARLES S. HERMAN, Reg. #0080187, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

OPINION

VALEN, J.

{¶ 1} On June 28, 2006, defendant-appellant, Charles R. Bowman, entered a plea of guilty to one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, one count of Conspiracy to Engage in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, sixteen counts of Tampering with Records, fourteen counts of Theft by Deception and twenty-six counts of Failure to Deliver Certificate of Title. All of the counts stemmed from Bowman's failure to provide title to vehicles he sold while running a used car business. Following the plea, Bowman was sentenced to a total of six years in prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution to twenty-two of the victims. The trial court indicated that it had reduced to writing the amounts of restitution owed to each of those victims. The restitution order was set forth as "Trial Court Exhibit A" which provided for a total restitution amount of $248, 628.52. That exhibit is set forth as follows:

Cynthia Burch

6, 486.50

Sharon Abner

9, 336.00

Roger Hines

115.50

Michael Littlejohn

9, 104.75

Tracy Bodey

4, 035.97

Mark Runyon

5, 167.50

Brock Blackburn

10, 086.80

Sara Plantz

5, 251.00

Bingham's Used Cars

14, 500.00

Independent Auto Sales

5, 500.00

Larry Greene

6, 965.00

Julia Rice

6, 996.50

Kristine Wetzel

4, 563.00

Eddie Conley

3, 390.00

Cheyenne Shively

990.00

Amy Freund

695.00

Roy Hall

975.00

Sarah Barnett

990.00

David Mikel

27, 350.00

Townsend Foster

20, 030.00

Ronald Pullins

4, 100.00

Monroe Federal

102, 000.00

{¶ 2} Bowman appeals solely from this order of restitution, and raises two assignments of error.

{¶ 3} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ORDERING RESTITUTION IN AN AMOUNT NOT SUBSTANTIATED BY THE RECORD."

{¶ 4} Bowman argues that the record does not support the restitution ordered by the trial court. The State contends that Bowman has waived this issue for appeal given that he failed to object to the amounts set forth by the trial court at the sentencing hearing.

{¶ 5} This court has recently addressed the issue of restitution in State v. Collins, Montgomery App. Nos. 21510 and 21689, 2007-Ohio-5365, wherein we stated as follows:

{¶ 6} "An order of restitution must be supported by competent, credible evidence in the record. State v. Warner (1990), 55 Ohio St.3d 31, 69, 564 N.E.2d 18. 'It is well settled that there must be a due process ascertainment that the amount of restitution bears a reasonable relationship to the loss suffered.' State v. Williams (1986), 34 Ohio App.3d 33, 34, 516 N.E.2d 1270. 'A sentence of restitution must be limited to the actual economic loss caused by the illegal conduct for which the defendant was convicted.' State v. Banks (Aug. 19, 2005), Montgomery App. No. 20711, 2005-Ohio-4488. ' Implicit in this principle is that the amount claimed must be established to a reasonable degree of certainty before restitution can be ordered.' State v. Golar (October 31, 2003), Lake App. No.2002-L-092, 2003-Ohio-5861.

{¶ 7} "A trial court abuses its discretion in ordering restitution in an amount that was not determined to bear a reasonable relationship to the actual loss suffered. State v. Williams, 34 Ohio App.3d 33. Thus, we review the trial court's decision under an abuse of discretion standard. 'The term "abuse of discretion" connotes more than an error of law or judgment; it implies that the court's attitude is unreasonable, arbitrary or unconscionable.' Blakemore v. Blakemore (1983), 5 Ohio St.3d 217, 218, 450 N.E.2d 1140, quoting State v. Adams (1980), 62 Ohio St.2d 151, 404 N.E.2d 144.

{¶ 8} "Restitution is based upon the victim's economic loss. R.C. 2929.18(A)(1) provides in pertinent part:

{¶ 9} "Restitution by the offender to the victim of the offender's crime or any survivor of the victim, in an amount based on the victim's economic loss. * * * If the court imposes restitution, at sentencing, the court shall determine the amount of restitution to be made by the offender. If the court imposes restitution, the court may base the amount of restitution it orders on an amount recommended by the victim, the offender, a presentence investigation report, estimates or receipts indicating the cost of repairing or replacing property, and other information, provided that the amount the court orders as restitution shall not exceed the amount of economic loss suffered by the victim as a direct and proximate result of the commission of the ...


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