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State v. Baker

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

July 1, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
JAMES E. BAKER, JR. Defendant-Appellant

Criminal appeal from the Coshocton County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 12-CR-0031.

For Plaintiff-Appellee: JASON GIVEN, Coshocton County Prosecuting Attorney

For Defendant-Appellant: JEFFREY MULLEN, Coshocton County Public Defender

Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. John W. Wise, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Gwin, P.J.

{¶1} On May 21, 2012, James E. Baker, Jr. ["Baker] was indicted on nineteen (19) counts. Baker was charged with one count of Rape, R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b); eight counts of Rape, R.C. 2907.02(A)(2); and ten (10) additional counts of Gross Sexual Imposition.

{¶2} On August 31, 2012 Baker entered pleas of guilty to counts one (1) through ten (10) of the Indictment, consisting of 9 counts of rape, felonies of the first degree one count in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b) and eight counts in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2); and one count of gross sexual imposition a felony of the third degree in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4). In exchange, the state requested and the court granted a nolle prosequi of counts eleven (11) through nineteen (19) of the Indictment. The state also agreed to take no position as it related to Baker's sentence.

{¶3} Following Baker's pleas of guilty, the court ordered a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). Additionally, upon Baker's motion, the court ordered that a psychological examination of Baker be performed to aid the court in sentencing and as part of the PSI process. Per said order Dr. Gary Wolfgang, Ph.D., conducted the examination and filed a report with the court. This report was incorporated into the PSI and was made part of the record at the time of sentencing.

{¶4} On December 12, 2012, the court conducted a sentencing hearing. The court imposed a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment for Count 1, Rape; sentences of 5 years for each of counts 2 through 9, each a count of Rape felonies of the first degree; and a sentence of 36 months for Count 10, Gross Sexual Imposition. The sentencing court ordered that the sentences for counts 2, 3, and 4 were to be consecutive to each other and consecutive to Count 1; and that the remaining counts be concurrent to each other, and concurrent to counts 1 through 4. Thus, Baker's aggregate sentence is life imprisonment with the possibility of parole in twenty-five (25) years.

Assignment of Error

{¶5} Baker assigns one assignment of error,

{¶6} "I. THE IMPOSITION OF CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES WAS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION."

{¶7} In his sole assignment of error, Baker challenges his consecutive sentences.

{¶8} In 2003, the Ohio Supreme Court held in State v. Comer, 99 Ohio St.3d 463, 2003-Ohio-4165, a court may not impose consecutive sentences unless it "finds" three statutory factors enumerated in then 2929.14(E)(4). The statutory factors were the same as those now enumerated in the revised version of R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) following enactment of 2011 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 86. The revised version of the ...


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