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State ex rel. Williams v. Goodrich

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District

August 12, 2013

STATE OF OHIO ex rel. ANTHONY L. WILLIAMS, Petitioner-Appellant,
BARRY GOODRICH, WARDEN, Respondent-Appellee.

Civil Appeal from the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas. Case No. 2012 CV 708.

Anthony L Williams, pro se, PID: A356402 (Petitioner-Appellant).

Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, and Maura O'Neill Jaite, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Justice Section, (For Respondent-Appellee).



(¶1} Appellant, Anthony L. Williams, appeals the judgment of the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas granting appellee, Warden Barry Goodrich's, motion to dismiss appellant's petition for writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to Civ.R. 12(B)(6). Based on the following, we affirm.

(¶2} On December 5, 1997, appellant was indicted for aggravated murder, in violation of R.C. 2903.01(A), with a firearm specification pursuant to R.C. 2941.145(A). The indictment stated, in part, that "on or about September 22, 1997, at Mahoning County, [appellant] did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the death of Antwon Stroughn. In violation of Section 2903.01(A) of the Revised Code, a Felony, against the peace and dignity of the State of Ohio."

(¶3} Following a jury trial, appellant was found guilty of the aggravated murder charge and firearm specification; subsequently, appellant was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years for the aggravated murder conviction and a mandatory, three-year, prior and consecutive prison sentence on the firearm specification.

(¶4} Appellant timely appealed his conviction, which was affirmed by the Seventh Appellate District. On appeal, appellant argued: (1) the trial court should not have instructed the jury on transferred intent, (2) the jury's verdict was against the weight of the evidence, and (3) the court erred by allowing prejudicial photographs into evidence. State v. Williams, 7th Dist. No. 98 CA 74, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 1233 (Mar. 20, 2000). Appellant then sought review by the Ohio Supreme Court, which was dismissed sua sponte. State v. Williams, 89 Ohio St.3d 1454 (2000).

(¶5} Six years later, appellant filed a delayed petition for postconviction relief, which was dismissed by the trial court. On appeal, the Seventh Appellate District affirmed the dismissal. State v. Williams, 7th Dist. No. 07-MA-57, 2008-Ohio-1187.

(¶6} On December 21, 2010, appellant filed a pro se motion for resentencing arguing that his sentence was void, as the trial court failed to state the term of postrelease control. Appellant then filed a pro se motion to modify the guilty verdict and a pro se motion to arrest judgment. Subsequently, the trial court held a hearing, where it advised appellant that he was subject to a five-year mandatory period of post-release control.

(¶7} The trial court held an additional hearing on January 28, 2011, to address appellant's other motions, which alleged: (1) the trial court lacked jurisdiction over appellant because the indictment did not charge him with the element of transferred intent; and (2) the verdict form did not contain the aggravating elements of the offense and, as a result, the court was required to find him guilty of the lesser offense of murder. The trial court overruled such motions.

(¶8}Appellant filed a notice of appeal from the new sentencing judgment as well as from the judgment overruling his other motions. On appeal, appellant, represented by appointed counsel, assigned a single error asserting that the trial court erred by adding post-release control to an aggravated murder sentence. State v. Williams, 7th Dist. No. 11-MA-24, 2012-Ohio-1475. The Seventh Appellate District found merit in appellant's assigned error and modified his sentence to delete the reference to post-release control. Id. at ¶42.

(¶9} In this same appeal, appellant, acting pro se, assigned three additional assignments of error relating to his indictment and the verdict form. Id. at ¶27-41. The Seventh Appellate District held these assigned errors were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Id.; discretionary appeal not allowed by State v. Williams, 132 Ohio St.3d 1425, 2012-Ohio-2729.

(¶10} Appellant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court challenging both his indictment and the jury verdict form. In his petition, appellant alleges the trial court lacked "subject matter jurisdiction in the absence of an indictment found by the present of the Mahoning County Grand Jury charging [him] with a plan to kill Chris Chapman and Cheree Moore with prior calculation and design that transferred the intent of that scheme to the death of Antwon Stroughn[.]" Appellant also contends, citing to State v. Pelfrey, that the jury ...

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