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State v. Fletcher

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District

July 15, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MARK S. FLETCHER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 2012 CR 153

Gerald F. Siesel for Appellant

Edwin A. Pierce and R. Andrew Augsburger for Appellee

OPINION

SHAW, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant Mark S. Fletcher ("Fletcher") appeals the December 21, 2012, judgment of the Auglaize County Common Pleas Court sentencing Fletcher to 36 months in prison following Fletcher's guilty plea to "Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals Used to Manufacture Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) with Intent to Manufacture Controlled Substance, " in violation of R.C. 2925.041(A)(C)(1), a felony of the third degree.

{¶2} On Friday August 31, 2012, Fletcher was pulled over for having an obscured rear license plate while driving in the village of Waynesfield, Ohio. Joanna Schaub and her teenage daughter were in the vehicle with Fletcher at the time of the stop. After some interaction between Fletcher and the officers who stopped him wherein the officers noted, inter alia, that Fletcher appeared nervous, Fletcher's vehicle was searched by a K-9 unit. The K-9 unit made a "hit" on the rear of the driver's side of the vehicle. The officers then searched the vehicle and found a red lunch bag in the vehicle's cargo area containing plastic baggies, sunglasses, lighter fluid, a lighter, drain cleaner, plastic tubing, batteries and Sudafed. Subsequently, the officers called Mike Vorhees of the Auglaize-Mercer County Drug Task Force for assistance. Vorhees arrived and indicated that the items were commonly used to make methamphetamines.

{¶3} On September 7, 2012, Fletcher was indicted by the Auglaize County Grand Jury for one count of "Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals Used to Manufacture Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) with Intent to Manufacture Controlled Substance" in the Vicinity of a Juvenile, in violation of R.C. 2925.041(A), a felony of the second degree. (Doc. 1).

{¶4} On September 12, 2012, Fletcher was arraigned and pled not guilty to the charge. (Doc. 17).

{¶5} On October 16, 2012, Fletcher filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained from the stop and the search. (Doc. 24).

{¶6} On November 15, 2012 a hearing was held on the motion to suppress.[1] (Doc. 58). On November 28, 2012, the trial court filed a judgment entry denying Fletcher's motion to suppress. (Id.)

{¶7} On December 19, 2012, the parties convened for a pre-trial conference and negotiated a plea agreement. (Doc. 98). As part of that plea agreement, Fletcher agreed to plead guilty in exchange for the State agreeing to amend the charge in the indictment to Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals for Manufacture of Methamphetamines in violation of R.C. 2925.041(A)(C)(1), a felony of the third degree rather than a felony of the second degree. (Doc. 76).

{¶8} The court then conducted a Criminal Rule 11 plea colloquy with Fletcher, wherein Fletcher stated that he understood the nature of his plea, that he understood the rights he was waiving by agreeing to plead guilty, and that he understood the maximum penalties. (Doc. 98). Following the colloquy, Fletcher pled guilty to the charge as amended and the court accepted Fletcher's plea. (Id.) The court then proceeded to sentencing. (Id.)

{¶9} Fletcher was given an opportunity to address the court regarding sentencing, and Fletcher's attorney questioned Fletcher in court to speak toward mitigation. (Id.) The State recommended that Fletcher receive the maximum 36 months in prison. (Id.)

{¶10} Ultimately the court sentenced Fletcher to 36 months in prison. A judgment entry reflecting this sentence was filed on ...


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