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State of Ohio v. Stanley J. Hall

November 7, 2011

STATE OF OHIO, : PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
STANLEY J. HALL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 08CR25141

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ringland, J.

Cite as State v. Hall,

: OPINION

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Stanley J. Hall, appeals the sentence he received from the Warren County Court of Common Pleas following his conviction for one count of child endangering. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

{¶2} On June 30, 2008, appellant was indicted for one count of felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1) and one count of child endangering in violation of R.C. 2919.22(B)(1), both second-degree felonies. On November 25, 2008, after posting bail, and upon entering into a plea agreement, appellant pled guilty to the child endangering charge in exchange for the felonious assault charge being dismissed. Thereafter, on January 9, 2009, the trial court held a sentencing hearing where it sentenced appellant to serve seven years in prison and ordered him to pay "restitution for attorney fees and the cost of prosecution." That same day, the trial court filed its judgment entry of sentencing that included an order requiring appellant to pay "all prosecution costs, court appointed counsel costs, and any fees permitted pursuant to R.C. §2929.18(A)(4), for which execution is hereby ordered."

{¶3} Appellant now appeals from his sentence, raising a single assignment of error for review.

{¶4} "THE TRIAL COURT'S SENTENCE IS CONTRARY TO LAW."

{¶5} In his single assignment of error, appellant argues that the trial court's sentencing decision was contrary to law. In support of this claim, appellant presents three issues for our review. We will address each of these three issues separately.

{¶6} Initially, appellant argues that his sentence is contrary to law for the trial court "did not consider on the record the factors specified in either R.C. 2929.11 or R.C. 2929.12." We disagree.

{¶7} While the trial court did not specifically verbalize at the sentencing hearing that it had considered the overriding purposes and principles of felony sentencing as outlined in R.C. 2929.11, nor the seriousness and recidivism factors listed in R.C. 2929.12, the trial court made clear in its sentencing entry that it had properly considered these necessary sentencing statutes. See State v. Lancaster, Butler App. No. CA2007-03-075, 2008-Ohio-1665, ¶4; State v. Leopard, Clark App. No. 2010-CA087, 2011-Ohio-3864, ¶44; State v. Parson, Auglaize App. No. 2-10-17, 2011-Ohio-168, ¶16. In fact, the trial court specifically stated in its sentencing entry that it considered "the principles and purposes of sentencing under R.C. §2929.11, and has balanced the seriousness and recidivism factors under R.C. §2929.12."

In turn, although a statement on the record at the sentencing hearing would have likely clarified this issue for appellant, appellant's sentence is not contrary to law merely because the trial court failed to specifically cite to either statute during his sentencing hearing. See State v. Miller, Clark App. No. 09-CA-28, 2010-Ohio-2138, ¶43. Appellant's first argument, therefore, is overruled.

{¶8} Next, appellant argues that the trial court "erred in ordering [him] to pay court appointed counsel fees." In support of this claim, appellant, relying on recent unemployment statistics, argues that although the trial court determined he was able to work, "[b]eing able to work is not the same as actually working." However, while we are mindful of the continued economic struggles facing the region, we find the record is devoid of any evidence indicating appellant suffered from any physical or mental disabilities that would prevent him from obtaining gainful employment. In fact, when asked by the trial court whether he had any disabilities that would prevent him from finding work in the future, appellant, who was just 25 years old at the time, answered that he did not.

{¶9} In addition, while not part of the record, before finding appellant was "reasonably expected to have the means to pay" the costs of his court-appointed counsel and other financial sanctions, the trial court indicated that it had considered his presentence investigation report, a document detailing his financial and personal information. See State v. Christman, Preble App. Nos. CA2009-03-007, CA2009-03-008, 2009-Ohio-6555, ¶22-27. In turn, while appellant may face some difficulties in obtaining employment upon his release, because there is nothing in the recording indicating appellant did not have the ability to obtain employment in order to pay the costs of his court-appointed counsel in the future, we find no error in the trial court's decision ordering him to pay the same. See R.C. 2941.51(D); see, also, State v. Smith, Warren App. No. CA2010-06-057, 2011-Ohio-1188, ¶38-41 (finding no error in the trial court's decision ordering defendant to pay the cost of his court-appointed counsel where he had "future ability to pay" said costs); State v. Lane, Butler App. No. CA2002-03-069, 2003-Ohio-1246, ¶21-23. Appellant's second argument, therefore, is overruled.

{ΒΆ10} In his final argument, appellant claims the trial court erred by including in its judgment entry of sentence an order requiring him to pay "any fees permitted pursuant to R.C. 2929.18(A)(4)," which, according to him, ...


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