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State v. Wright

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

June 25, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff - Appellee
v.
JOHN LEWIS WRIGHT Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2007CR1228

For Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney RENEE M. WATSON Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

For Defendant-Appellee STEVEN A. REISCH.

JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant John Lewis Wright appeals from the December 31, 2012 Judgment Entry of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas revoking his Judicial Release and reimposing sentence. Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS AND CASE

{¶2} On August 20, 2007, the Stark County Grand Jury indicted appellant on one count of felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1) and/or (A)(2), a felony of the second degree. At his arraignment on August 24, 2007, appellant entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

{¶3} Thereafter, on November 13, 2007, appellant withdrew his former not guilty plea and pled guilty to the charge contained in the indictment. Pursuant to a Judgment Entry filed on December 27, 2007, appellant was placed on three (3) years of community control under specified terms and conditions.

{¶4} On March 4, 2009, a Motion to Revoke Probation or Modify Former Order was filed. As memorialized in a Judgment Entry filed on April 20, 2009, the trial court found that appellant had violated the terms of his community control, revoked the same and sentenced appellant to a four (4) year prison term.

{¶5} Subsequently, on October 8, 2009, appellant filed a Motion for Judicial Release. Following a hearing held on November 2, 2009, appellant was granted judicial release and placed on intensive probation for a period of three (3) years under specified terms and conditions. A Judgment Entry memorializing the same was filed on November 6, 2009.

{¶6} On April 22, 2010, appellant's probation officer, Dennis Williams, filed a Motion to Revoke Probation or Modify Former Order. Williams, in such motion, alleged that appellant had violated his probation by not taking care of a warrant issued by Massillon Municipal Court after being told to do so several times, by testing positive for cocaine on two dates, and by paying nothing towards his court costs or monitoring fees. A probable cause hearing was scheduled for May 3, 2010. On such date, appellant stipulated to probable cause and the court set an evidentiary hearing for May 10, 2010. After appellant failed to appear on May 10, 2010, a capias was issued for his arrest. Appellant remained an absconder for over two years.

{¶7} On November 27, 2012, the capias was returned after appellant was arrested. On December 12, 2012, Shelley Wolf, a probation officer who had taken over appellant's file after his previous probation officer had retired, filed an addendum to the Motion to Revoke Probation or Modify Former Order. Wolf, in her motion, alleged that appellant had violated his probation by failing to appear for his May 10, 2010 court date, causing the issuance of a capias, and by failing to contact the probation department. An evidentiary hearing was held on December 17, 2012.

{ΒΆ8} At the hearing, Wolf testified that appellant had been on probation and was being supervised by another probation officer, who had since retired, when he disappeared over two years ago. Wolf testified that she took over appellant's case. She testified that, pursuant to the November 6, 2009 Judgment Entry granting him judicial release, appellant was to follow any verbal order of the court or any representative of the court, which would include an order to appear for the May 10, 2010 evidentiary hearing. She testified that it was her understanding that the evidentiary hearing was scheduled ...


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