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State v. Trotter

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

June 20, 2013

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DAVID C. TROTTER DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-525504

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Robert L. Tobik Cuyahoga County Public Defender BY: John T. Martin Assistant Public Defender.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Scott Zarzycki Assistant County Prosecutor.

BEFORE: Jones, P.J., Keough, J., and E.A. Gallagher, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

LARRY A.JONES, SR, PRESIDING JUDGE

{¶1} Defendant-appellant David Trotter appeals his consecutive sentence for two counts of rape. We reverse and remand for resentencing.

{¶2} In 2009, Trotter was charged with four counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, eleven counts relating to alleged child pornography found on his computer, and two counts of corrupting another with drugs. The matter proceeded to a bench trial in January 2010; however, after six days of testimony, the court granted a motion to suppress the evidence found on Trotter's computer that was made after the judge, sua sponte, raised a jurisdictional issue. The state appealed this ruling, and this court reversed. State v. Trotter, 8th Dist. No. 94648, 201 l-Ohio-418.

{¶3} The bench trial continued in February 2011. At the end of trial, the state dismissed the two counts of corrupting another with drugs. The trial court convicted Trotter of two counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2) (Counts 1 and 2); two counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(c) (Counts 3 and 4); and two counts of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4) (Counts 5 and 6); but acquitted him of the counts relating to the child pornography (Counts 7 - 17). The trial court then sentenced Trotter to a total of 60 years in prison.

{¶ 4} Trotter appealed his convictions and this court reversed in part, finding that the trial court erred by imposing multiple punishments for allied offenses; specifically, this court found that Counts 1, 3, and 5 were allied and Counts 2, 4, and 6 were allied. State v. Trotter, 8th Dist. No. 97064, 2012-Ohio-2760. We remanded the case for the merger of allied offenses and resentencing.

{¶5} The trial court held a resentencing hearing on August 14, 2012. The state elected to proceed to sentencing on Counts 1 and 2, rape. The trial court sentenced Trotter to ten years in prison on each count and ran the sentences consecutive, for a total sentence of 20 years in prison.

{¶ 6} Trotter appeals, raising the following assignment of error for our review:

[I.] The trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences when it failed to make findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4).

{¶7} With the enactment of Am.Sub.H.B. No. 86, effective September 30, 2011, the General Assembly has revived the requirement that trial courts make findings before imposing consecutive sentences under R.C. 2929.14(C). State v. Bonner, 8th Dist. No. 97747, 2012-Ohio-2931, ¶ 5.

{¶8} R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) now requires that a trial court engage in a three-step analysis in order to impose consecutive sentences. First, the trial court must find the sentence is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender. Next, the trial court must find that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public. Finally, the trial court must find that at least one of the following applies: (1) the offender committed one or more of the multiple offenses while awaiting trial or sentencing, while under a sanction imposed pursuant to R.C. 2929.16, 2929.17, or 2929.18, or while under postrelease control for a prior offense; (2) at least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused by two or more of the offenses was so great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the offenses committed as part of any of the courses of conduct ...


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