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State v. Hatfield

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District

July 15, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Appellant
v.
APRIL D. HATFIELD Appellee

APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 09CR079573

DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellant.

JAMES INGALLS, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

BETH WHITMORE, Judge.

{¶1} Appellant, the State of Ohio, appeals from a judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, dismissing criminal charges against Appellee, April Hatfield. This Court affirms.

I

{¶2} In December 2009, Hatfield was indicted on one count of robbery, in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(3), a felony of the third degree. After proceeding through discovery, Hatfield filed a motion for acceptance into the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Diversion Program. The trial court ordered a preliminary investigation and later denied her motion.

{¶3} Approximately one month later, the court ordered another diversion program investigation. Subsequently, the court held a hearing, at which Hatfield entered a guilty plea. Over the State's objection, the court refused to enter a finding of guilt at that time, placed Hatfield in the court's diversion program, and stayed the case. A year later, the court found that Hatfield had successfully completed the diversion program and dismissed her case.

{¶4} The State now appeals and raises two assignments of error for our review. For ease of analysis, we consolidate the assignments of error.

II

Assignment of Error Number One

THE TRIAL COURT IMPROPERLY DISMISSED HATFIELD'S INDICTMENT UPON COMPLETION OF THE LORAIN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DIVERSION PROGRAM AS ONLY A PROSECUTING ATTORNEY HAS THE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH A PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION PROGRAM.

Assignment of Error Number Two

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN STRUCTURING THE LORAIN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DIVERSION PROGRAM TO REMOVE ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL PARTIES TO THE CASE AND TO VIOLATE THE ...

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