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State v. Hicks

December 4, 2008

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
NAKIA HICKS DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. CR-497784, JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Patricia Ann Blackmon, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

BEFORE: Blackmon, J., Kilbane, P.J., and Stewart, J.

{¶1} Appellant Nakia Hicks appeals the trial court's imposition of a maximum sentence. Hicks assigns the following errors for our review:

"I. The sentence imposed by the trial court, though it was within the statutory range, was manifestly disproportionate to the crimes committed by the defendant, and was, therefore, contrary to law.

"II. The trial court failed to properly consider the principles of sentencing and recidivism of the offender in sentencing appellant to eight years in prison.

"III. The defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel."

{¶2} Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm the trial court's decision. The apposite facts follow.

{¶3} On June 27, 2007, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Hicks on two counts of theft with elderly victim specification attached. The grand jury also indicted Hicks on sixty-two counts of forgery with elderly victim specification attached. The charges stemmed from Hicks's conduct from March 2006 through November 2006, while working as an in-home health care provider for Elias and Elaine Friedman. The indictment alleged that Hicks stole approximately $54,000 from the elderly couple by forging and uttering checks. At her arraignment, on July 12, 2007, Hicks pleaded not guilty to the charges.

{¶4} On October 3, 2007, pursuant to a plea agreement with the State of Ohio, Hicks withdrew her previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to one count of theft with elderly victim specification attached, a second degree felony. Hicks also pleaded guilty to ten counts of forgery with elderly victim specification attached, all fourth degree felonies. In addition, Hicks agreed to restitution in the amount of $54,000. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the State of Ohio dismissed the remaining charges.

{¶5} On November 19, 2007, Hicks appeared before the trial court for sentencing.

At the hearing, the prosecuting attorney indicated that Hicks had a lengthy criminal record. The prosecuting attorney also indicated that Hicks used her position of trust to steal $54,000 from two elderly people over a period of eight months.

{¶6} Amy Broman, the victims' daughter, also addressed the court. Broman indicated that her father and mother, age eighty-seven and age eighty-six respectively, with histories of heart problems, both became depressed after they discovered Hicks's betrayal. Broman also indicated that immediately after Hicks was hired, Hicks called Broman and her sister, who both live out of state, and insisted that their father needed twenty-four hour care. Broman and her sister persuaded their parents to retain Hicks on a twenty-four hour basis. In addition, Broman indicated that her parents treated Hicks like a member of the family.

{ΒΆ7} Finally, Broman read a letter her mother, who was not present, had written to the court. The letter ...


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