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State v. Minifee

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

July 18, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
PATRICK A. MINIFEE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-562160.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Anna Markovich The Palm Aire Building.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Marc D. Bullard Assistant Prosecuting Attorney The Justice Center.

BEFORE: Celebrezze, P.J., E.A. Gallagher, J., and Kilbane, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

FRANK D. CELEBREZZE, JR., P.J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant, Patrick Minifee, appeals the judgment of the common pleas court denying his presentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea. After careful review of the record and relevant case law, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

I. Factual and Procedural History

{¶2} This case arises out of the aggravated robbery and shooting of off-duty Cleveland Police Officer Dwayne Borders on April 26, 2012. Officer Borders was traveling in his vehicle when he stopped at a private residence in Cleveland, Ohio. As Officer Borders exited his vehicle, he was approached by appellant, who was brandishing a weapon and attempting to carry out a robbery. During the incident, a number of shots were exchanged. As a result, Officer Borders was shot in the back, and appellant was shot in the chest. Officer Borders was treated and released in connection with his injuries. Appellant was abandoned inside his vehicle at a nearby hospital, where life-saving measures allowed his survival. Inside appellant's vehicle, officers discovered two firearms underneath the gear box of the vehicle.

{¶ 3} As a result of the incident, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury returned a multi-count indictment, charging appellant with kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(B)(2), a felony of the first degree; attempted murder in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and 2903.02(A), a felony of the first degree; felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1), a felony of the first degree; felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2), a felony of the first degree; aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), a felony of the first degree; aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(3), a felony of the first degree; and discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises in violation of R.C. 2923.162(A)(3), a felony of the first degree; all of which also included one- and three-year firearm specifications and forfeiture of weapons specifications. Appellant was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon in violation of R.C. 2923.12(A)(2), a felony of the fourth degree; improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle in violation of R.C. 2923.16(B), a felony of the fourth degree; and tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1), a felony of the third degree; all of which also included forfeiture of weapon specifications.

{¶ 4} On September 26, 2012, appellant withdrew his previous not guilty plea and pled guilty to the charges as stated in the indictment. In exchange for pleading guilty to all charges, including all the specifications, the state agreed to recommend a nineteen-and-one-half-year sentence.

{¶ 5} On October 1, 2012, appellant's sentencing hearing was held. Prior to the imposition of his sentence, however, appellant orally requested that the trial court allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. Appellant explained that he was coerced into taking the plea agreement by his attorney, who he argued had only spent two weeks on his case and did not have sufficient time to prepare for trial. Appellant stated that he felt pressured by his attorney to enter the plea and that his attorney did not represent his best interests. Appellant also requested that the trial court appoint new counsel. After careful consideration of appellant's arguments, the trial court denied his motion to withdraw his plea and his request for new counsel. Thereafter, the trial court sentenced appellant to the agreed sentence of a nineteen-and-one-half-year term of imprisonment.

{¶ 6} Appellant now brings this timely appeal, raising four assignments of error for review:

I. The trial court violated defendant's due process rights as guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and erred under Ohio Crim.R. 11(C).
II. The trial court erred and abused discretion in denying defendant's presentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea under Crim.R. 32.1.
III. The trial court abused discretion in assessing the court costs to [an] indigent defendant.
IV. Defendant was denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel pursuant to the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section X of the Ohio Constitution.

II. Law and Analysis

A. Crim.R. 11(C)

{¶ 7} In his first assignment of error, appellant argues that the trial court failed to comply with Crim.R. 11, and therefore his plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, or intelligently made.

{ΒΆ8} Crim.R. 11(C) governs the process by which a trial court must inform a defendant of certain constitutional and nonconstitutional rights before accepting a felony plea of guilty or no contest. The underlying purpose of Crim.R. 11(C) is to convey certain information to a defendant so that he can make a voluntary and intelligent decision ...


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