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State v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

February 23, 2017

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Aaron S. Fields, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No. 15CR-2099)

         On brief:

          Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Michael P. Walton, for appellee.

          Giorgianni Law LLC, and Paul Giorgianni, for appellant.

         Argued:

          Michael P. Walton.

          Paul Giorgianni.

          DECISION

          SADLER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Aaron S. Fields, appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court convicting him of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand with instructions.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         {¶ 2} On January 30, 2015, a vehicle operated by appellant went left of center and struck another vehicle occupied by the driver and three passengers. Two of the occupants in the vehicle died as a result of the collision and the other two sustained serious injuries. Testing revealed that appellant's blood contained four times the legal limit of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the marijuana metabolite.

         {¶ 3} On April 28, 2015, a Franklin County Grand Jury issued a ten-count indictment charging appellant with the following offenses: two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, in violation of R.C. 2903.06, felonies of the first degree; two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, in violation of R.C. 2903.06, felonies of the second degree; two counts of aggravated vehicular assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.08, felonies of the second degree; two counts of vehicular assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.08, felonies of the third degree; and two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, in violation of R.C. 4511.19, misdemeanors of the first degree. On April 11, 2016, in case No. 15CR-2099, appellant pled guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, in violation of R.C. 2903.06, felonies of the first degree, and two counts of aggravated vehicular assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.08, felonies of the second degree. On application of the prosecuting attorney, the trial court dismissed the remaining counts.

         {¶ 4} On May 4, 2016, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. On May 5, 2016, the trial court sentenced appellant to a term of imprisonment of seven years for each of the two first-degree felony convictions and three years on each of the two second-degree felony convictions. The trial court ordered appellant to serve the prison terms consecutively in case No. 15CR-2099, for a total of 20 years in prison. The trial court also sentenced appellant to 180 days in prison in another case, case No. 15CR-4068, to be served concurrently with his sentence in case No. 15CR-2099.

         {¶ 5} Appellant timely appealed to this court from the judgment of the trial court.

         II. ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

         {¶ 6} Appellant assigns the following three assignments of error:

1. The trial court imposed consecutive terms of imprisonment without making the findings of fact mandated by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) and State v. Bonnell 140 Ohio St.3d 209, 2014-Ohio-3177.
2. The trial judge erroneously found that the defense did not recommend a sentence.
3. The trial judge erroneously gave zero jail time credit and failed to give 336 days of jail time credit.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         {¶ 7} "R.C. 2953.08(G)(2) provides the appropriate standard of review '[o]n appeals involving the imposition of consecutive sentences.' " State v. Dixon, 10th Dist. No. 15AP-432, 2015-Ohio-5277, ¶ 7, quoting State v. Bonnell, 140 Ohio St.3d 209, 2014- Ohio-3177, ¶ 28. R.C. 2953.08(G)(2) provides, in relevant part, as follows:

The appellate court may increase, reduce, or otherwise modify a sentence that is appealed under this section or may vacate the sentence and remand the matter to the sentencing court for resentencing. The appellate court's standard for review is not whether the sentencing court abused its discretion. The appellate court may take any action ...

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