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State v. Wright

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

July 18, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
ELLERY WRIGHT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case Nos. CR-562045 and CR-562963

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Michael P. Maloney.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew E. Meyer Christopher D. Schroeder Assistant County Prosecutors

BEFORE: Stewart, A.J., S. Gallagher, J., and Keough, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

MELODY J. STEWART, A.J.:

{¶ 1} On May 8, 2012, defendant-appellant Ellery Wright pled guilty to one count of drug possession in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), a fifth-degree felony. The trial court convicted Wright and sentenced him to 12 months of community control sanctions and 25 hours of community service. Additionally, Wright's driver's license was temporarily suspended, he was ordered to attend drug treatment programs, and also ordered to obtain a General Education Development (GED) diploma.

{¶2} In a separate case, Wright again pled guilty to one count of theft in violation of R.C. 2913.01(A)(3), also a fifth-degree felony. On June 5, 2012, Wright was convicted of the offense, sentenced to 18 months of community control sanctions, and ordered to pay $3, 500 in restitution.

{¶3} On August 10, 2012, Wright appeared in court for a hearing for violating the conditions of his community control sanctions. Wright had tested positive for phencyclidine ("PCP") and cocaine on two separate occasions. Wright also failed to appear for the court-ordered drug treatment programs, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, or make any effort to obtain his GED. The trial court found Wright to be in violation of his probation in both cases and sentenced him to the maximum of 12 months incarceration in each case. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively.

{¶4} On appeal, Wright's sole assignment of error is that the court erred in ordering maximum consecutive sentences. However, we find Wright's assignment of error to be without merit because the record reflects the trial court's imposition of maximum consecutive sentences was proper.

{¶5} On September 30, 2011, H.B. 86 became effective, which revived the requirement that trial courts make certain findings before imposing consecutive sentences for felony convictions. State v. Jones, 8th Dist. No. 98371, 2013-Ohio-489, ¶ 17. Under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), the trial court must first find that the imposition of consecutive sentences is "necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender." Id. Secondly, the trial court must find "consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public." Id. Lastly, the trial court must find that at least one of the following factors applies:

(a)The offender committed one or more of the multiple offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing, was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16, 2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or was under post-release control for a prior offense.
(b)At least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused by two or more of the multiple offenses so 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.
(c) The offender's history of criminal conduct demonstrates that consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public ...

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