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State v. Lofton

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Pickaway

February 16, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
HARRISON S. LOFTON, IV, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM COMMON PLEAS COURT

          Harrison S. Lofton, IV, pro se.

          Judy C. Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecuting Attorney, Circleville, Ohio, for appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          Peter B. Abele, Judge

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal from a Pickaway County Common Pleas Court judgment that denied a motion to allow Harrison S. Lofton, IV, defendant below and appellant herein, to withdraw his guilty plea, entitled "Affidavit of Revocation of Signature for Good Cause." Appellant assigns the following errors for review:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:
"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY EXCEPTING A PLEA FROM DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AFTER COLLOQUY IN WHICH JUDGE GAVE INCORRECT INFORMATION REGARDING DEFENDANT-APPELLANT'S STATUS." (SIC)
SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:
"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT RESPONDED TO DEFENDANT LOFTON'S AFFIDAVIT WITH A DECISION AND ENTRY AND CLAIMED IT WAS A MOTION."

         {¶ 2} On May 6, 2005, the Pickaway County Grand Jury returned an indictment that charged appellant with aggravated murder and burglary. Pursuant to an agreement, appellant pled to an amended charge of murder into which the burglary charge would be merged. In January 2006, the trial court sentenced appellant to serve fifteen years to life in prison. No appeal was taken from that judgment.[1]

         {¶ 3} A year later, appellant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Appellant alleged, inter alia, that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The trial court denied his motion and appellant appealed. This court dismissed the appeal due to appellant's failure to comply with various orders. State v. Lofton, 4th Dist. Pickaway No. 08CA23 (Mar. 13, 2009)(Lofton I).

         {¶ 4} On February 15, 2011, appellant filed a second motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial court denied his motion two days later. On June 9, 2011, appellant filed a motion for resentencing, arguing that the trial court erred by imposing postrelease control in its 2006 sentence. The trial court overruled the motion. We, however, reversed the trial court's judgment on the basis that postrelease control should not have been imposed and we remanded the matter for resentencing. State v. Lofton, 4th Dist. Pickaway No. 11CA16, 2012-Ohio-2274, at ¶ 8-10 & 11 (Lofton II).

          Thereafter, on May 23, 2012, the trial court corrected its error in a nunc pro tunc entry and removed reference to postrelease control.

         {¶ 5} On March 7, 2012, appellant filed a third motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial court denied that request on April 26, 2012. We affirmed that judgment. See State v. Lofton, ...


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