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State v. Williamson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

August 29, 2013

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
MICHAEL WILLIAMSON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-406972

FOR APPELLANT Michael Williamson, pro se

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Mary H. McGrath Assistant County Prosecutor

BEFORE: McCormack, J., Boyle, P.J., and Blackmon, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

TIM McCORMACK, J.

(¶ 1} Michael Williamson, pro se, appeals from a judgment of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas denying his "Motion to Correct Sentence." Williamson claimed the trial court failed to adequately advise him of his postrelease control in 2002 when sentencing him. He claimed entitlement to a de novo sentencing hearing and asked the trial court to address several new issues unrelated to postrelease control.

(¶ 2} Williamson is barred by res judicata to raise any new issues, but, for the following reasons, we remand the case to the trial court for the limited purpose of correcting its 2002 judgment entry to reflect a full notification of Williamson's postrelease control.

(¶ 3} In 2001, Williamson was found guilty by a jury of 12 counts of rape for engaging in sexual conduct with his seven-year-old stepdaughter over an extended period of time. In February 2002, the trial court sentenced him to 12 consecutive terms of life. On direct appeal, Williamson, with the assistance of counsel, assigned two errors regarding his conviction for this court's review. He claimed that the trial court improperly admitted hearsay evidence and also that his counsel provided ineffective assistance by mishandling an exculpatory witness. Finding no merit to his claims, this court affirmed his conviction in State v. Williamson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 80982, 2002-Ohio-6503.

(¶ 4} Williamson did not assign any error in his direct appeal regarding his sentence, or the way the court imposed postrelease control. Nine years later, however, in 2011, Williamson filed a pro se "Motion to Vacate Void Judgment and Order New Sentencing Hearing."

(¶ 5} He claimed the trial court failed to properly notify him of his postrelease control when sentencing him in 2002. In his brief, he alleged that, although the trial court notified him of postrelease control during his sentencing hearing and also incorporated it into its journal entry, the court failed to notify him of the consequences of a violation of the postrelease control both at the sentencing hearing and in its judgment entry. He claimed this defect rendered his sentence void and the court should now conduct a de novo sentence hearing to resentence him.

(¶ 6} Williamson, however, did not attach a copy of the transcript of his 2002 sentencing hearing to demonstrate the alleged inadequate notification by the trial court. The trial court's 2002 judgment entry did mention postrelease control, stating "post release control is a part of this prison sentence for the maximum period allowed * * * under R.C. 2967.28."

(¶ 7} In its response to Williamson's "Motion to Vacate Void Judgment and Order New Sentencing Hearing, " the state argued that he failed to provide a copy of the sentencing transcript to support his claim that he was inadequately advised of his postrelease control. The state requested, in the alternative, that the trial court conduct a sentencing hearing for the purpose of properly imposing postrelease control prior to his first scheduled parole hearing date, November 2121.

(¶ 8} In February 2012, the trial court issued a judgment entry, stating, "Motion to Vacate Void Judgment and Order New Sentencing Hearing is hereby denied. Court will resentence defendant on PRC issue only prior to release from prison if necessary." Williamson did not appeal from this judgment.

(ΒΆ 9} Nine months after that judgment entry, in November 2012, Williamson filed yet another motion pro se, styled as "Motion to Correct Sentence." He again requested a new hearing, and in the brief attached to the motion, raised several other claims unrelated to postrelease control. In January ...


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