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State v. Mays

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District

September 19, 2013

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
TRACY MAYS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-559249.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Aaron T. Baker.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Timothy J. McGinty Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Andrew Rogalski Assistant Prosecuting Attorney The Justice Center.

BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, J., Boyle, P.J., and S. Gallagher, J.

JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, J.

(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Tracy Mays ("Mays"), appeals his domestic violence conviction. We find no merit to the appeal and affirm.

(¶2} Mays was charged, by way of information, with one count of domestic violence. He subsequently informed the court, on the record, that he waived his right to presentment of the charge to a grand jury and executed a written waiver. At a later date, Mays pleaded no contest to the one count of domestic violence on the information charge. The court found Mays guilty and sentenced him to a 17-month prison term. Mays now appeals, raising two assignments of error.

(¶ 3} In the first assignment of error, Mays argues the trial court erred when it proceeded on the information charge without advising him of his constitutional right to a grand jury. He contends the court's acknowledgment of a signed waiver on the record fails to satisfy the requirements set forth in Crim.R. 7(A) and R.C. 2941.021. In the second assignment of error, Mays argues his conviction should be vacated, because the trial court failed to explain the difference between a guilty plea and a no contest plea. We discuss these assigned errors together because they are interrelated.

Waiver of Indictment

(¶4} Ohio Constitution, Article I, Section 10, provides that "no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous, crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury." Thus, "the Ohio Constitution guarantees an accused that the essential facts constituting the offense for which he is tried will be found in the indictment by the grand jury." State v. Pepka, 125 Ohio St.3d 124, 2010-Ohio-1045, 926 N.E.2d 611, ¶ 14, citing Harris v. State, 125 Ohio St. 257, 264, 181 N.E. 104 (1932).

(¶ 5} Crim.R. 7(A) provides, in relevant part:

A felony that may be punished by death or life imprisonment shall be prosecuted by indictment. All other felonies shall be prosecuted by indictment, except that after a defendant has been advised by the court of the nature of the charge against the defendant and of the defendant's right to indictment, the defendant may waive that right in writing and in open court.

Similarly, R.C. 2941.021 provides that a defendant may be prosecuted by information "after he has been advised by the court of the nature of the charge against him and of his rights under the constitution, is represented by counsel or has affirmatively waived counsel by waiver in writing and in open ...


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