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State of Ohio v. Gregory Walker

October 13, 2011

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
GREGORY WALKER DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case CR-466934

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mary J. Boyle, P.J.:

Cite as State v. Walker,

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

JUDGMENT:

AFFIRMED

BEFORE: Boyle, P.J., Rocco, J., and Keough, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Gregory Walker, appeals from the trial court's order denying his motion to vacate court costs.*fn1 Finding no merit to his appeal, we affirm.

{¶2} In 2006, Walker was convicted of murder with firearm specifications, and having a weapon while under a disability. The trial court sentenced him to 23 years to life in prison. The trial court also ordered Walker to pay court costs. Walker appealed his convictions, which this court upheld. See State v. Walker, 8th Dist. No. 87968, 2007-Ohio-3772, appeal not accepted for review, 116 Ohio St.3d 1458, 2007-Ohio-6803, 878 N.E.2d 35. Walker did not raise the issue of court costs in his direct appeal.

{¶3} At some point in 2007 (the motion is not in the record), Walker filed a motion to vacate court costs. The trial court denied Walker's motion on October 31, 2007 (the judgment entry denying Walker's motion is in the record). In November 2010, Walker again moved the trial court to vacate court costs. The trial court denied his motion. Walker appealed this denial, which is the subject of the present appeal. He raises a single assignment of error:

{¶4} "The trial court erred when it denied appellant's motion to vacate fines and court cost[s], when the court failed to impose court cost[s] in open court but incorporated court cost[s] in appellant's journal entry, as a result the court deprived appellant of his fourteenth amendment rights to the U.S. Constitution."

{¶5} R.C. 2947.23 governs the imposition of court costs on a criminal defendant. Pursuant to R.C. 2947.23(A)(1), a trial court must include "in the sentence the costs of prosecution and render a judgment against the defendant for such costs." Id. Further, Crim.R. 43(A) provides that, "the defendant shall be present at the arraignment and every stage of the trial, including the impaneling of the jury, the return of the verdict, and the imposition of sentence ***."

{¶6} A defendant's indigency does not shield him from the payment of court costs. State v. Threatt, 108 Ohio St.3d 277, 2006-Ohio-905, 843 N.E.2d 164, ¶1.

Court costs must be assessed against all defendants. Id.; State v. White, 103 Ohio St.3d 580, 2004-Ohio-5989, 817 N.E.2d 393; R.C. 2947.23. Although a judge has discretion to waive court costs assessed against an indigent defendant, such a person ordinarily "must move a trial court to waive payment of costs at the time of sentencing. If the defendant makes such a motion, then

{ΒΆ7} the issue is preserved for appeal and will be reviewed under an abuse-of-discretion standard. Otherwise, the issue is waived and costs ...


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