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State v. Nowlin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 20, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
TERRELL M. NOWLIN, Defendant-Appellant

Criminal appeal from the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. CR2010-0155.

For Plaintiff-Appellee ROBERT SMITH.

For Defendant-Appellant DAVID SAMS.

Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

GWIN, P.J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant Terrell M. Nowlin ("Nowlin") appeals from the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas resentencing after remand by this Court.

Facts and Procedural History

{¶2} A jury convicted Nowlin of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder (R.C. 2923.01(A)(1)), conspiracy to commit kidnapping (R.C. 2923.01(A)(1)), kidnapping with a firearm specification (R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), R.C. 2941.145), aggravated murder with a firearm specification (R.C. 2903.01(A), R.C. 2941.145), three counts of tampering with evidence (R.C. 2921.12(A)(1)), and gross abuse of a corpse (R.C. 2927.01(B)). The charges arose in connection with his role in the death of Tyler Hardin, who was lured to a remote area, shot with a handgun, and buried in a shallow grave. For a complete statement of the underlying facts, see State v. Nowlin, 5th Dist. No. CT2012-0015, 2012-Ohio-4923 ["Nowlin I "].

{¶3} Appellant was sentenced on January 30, 2012, pursuant to the newly enacted House Bill 86, which became effective on September 30, 2011. The trial court merged the conspiracy to commit aggravated murder conviction with the aggravated murder conviction, merged the conspiracy to commit kidnapping conviction with the kidnapping conviction, and merged one count of tampering with evidence with abuse of a corpse. The state elected to proceed under the aggravated murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence convictions. The trial court sentenced appellant to a term of eleven years incarceration for kidnapping, life without the possibility of parole for aggravated murder, three years' incarceration for the firearm specification for aggravated murder, and 36 months on each of the three tampering with evidence convictions. The court ordered that all terms be served consecutively. The court later issued a nunc pro tunc entry to clarify that the court had merged the firearm specifications for kidnapping and aggravated murder. Nowlin I, ¶17.

{¶4} On October 19, 2012, this Court upheld Nowlin's convictions. However, this Court found that "a review of the judgment of sentence and the sentencing transcript reveals that the trial court did not make the required findings to impose consecutive sentences." Nowlin I, ¶71. Accordingly, we remanded the case for resentencing.

{¶5} On November 13, 2012, the trial court conducted the re-sentencing hearing. The trial court acknowledged the order of remand and the reasons for the remand. After imposing sentence the same sentence on Nowlin that it had originally imposed, the trial court stated:

The Court will also order that all those separate sentences be served consecutive to each other. The Court finds that this is necessary to protect the public and to - punishment is not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offense and the danger that the defendant poses to the general public.
The Court also finds that at least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one course of conduct and the harm caused by the two or more offenses committed 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 adequately reflects the seriousness of the offender's conduct.
This was a premeditated murder. It was not done cleanly. There was a lot of harm and hurt involved. The attempt at trying to dispose of the body and buried it and the evidence is feeble at best and outraged the ...

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