from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No.
brief: Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Barbara A.
Farnbacher, for appellee.
brief: Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP, Kort Gatterdam and
Erik P. Henry, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, James K. Hall, appeals from
a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
denying his motion to vacate judgment and to withdraw guilty
plea. For the following reasons, we affirm that judgment.
Factual and Procedural Background
2} In 2007, appellant pled guilty to two counts of
aggravated robbery and one count of felonious assault. The
trial court sentenced him to eight-year concurrent prison
terms for each of his aggravated robbery convictions, a
consecutive three-year term for a firearm specification, and
an eight-year consecutive term for his felonious assault
conviction for a total sentence of 19 years in prison. On
appeal, this court vacated that sentence and remanded the
matter for resentencing after concluding that "[t]he
trial court's statements at the sentencing hearing
support appellant's claim that the court improperly
relied upon his refusal to testify as an aggravating factor
in calculating his sentence." State v. Hall,
179 Ohio App.3d 727, 2008-Ohio-6228, ¶ 20 (10th Dist).
3} On remand, the original sentencing judge recused
herself and a new judge was assigned to sentence appellant.
That judge sentenced him to nine-year concurrent prison terms
for each of his aggravated robbery convictions, a consecutive
three-year term for a firearm specification, and an
eight-year consecutive term for his felonious assault
conviction for a total sentence of 20 years in prison. This
court affirmed that sentence. State v. Hall, 10th
Dist. No. 09AP-302, 2009-Ohio-5712.
4} In January 2016, almost seven years after his
resentencing, appellant filed a motion requesting the trial
court to vacate its resentencing entry because the court did
not impose a sentence on all of his convictions. He also
asked to withdraw his guilty plea because the trial court
failed to determine that he entered his plea with a full
understanding of the penalties involved. The trial court
denied appellant's motion, both on res judicata grounds
and also for his failure to demonstrate a manifest injustice
necessary for the postsentence withdrawal of a plea.
5} Appellant appealed to this court. His appellate
counsel, however, filed a motion to withdraw and a brief
pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738
(1967), stating that he could find no errors prejudicial to
appellant which may be argued to this court on appeal. In
Anders, the United States Supreme Court held if,
after a conscientious examination of the record, a
defendant's counsel concludes the appeal is wholly
frivolous, counsel should so advise the court and request
permission to withdraw. Id. at 744. Counsel must
accompany this request with a brief identifying anything in
the record that could arguably support the client's
appeal. Counsel also must furnish the client with a copy of
the brief and request to withdraw and allow the client
sufficient time to raise any matters that the client chooses.
Id. Once the defendant's counsel satisfies these
requirements, the appellate court must fully examine the
proceedings below to determine whether the case is wholly
frivolous. If the appellate court also determines the appeal
is wholly frivolous, it may grant counsel's request to
withdraw and dismiss the appeal without violating
constitutional requirements or may proceed to a decision on
the merits if state law so requires. Id. On the
other hand, if this court concludes that there are arguably
meritorious issues for appeal, and therefore not wholly
frivolous, we must afford appellant the assistance of counsel
to address those issues. Id.; State v. Hudson, 10th
Dist. No. 14AP-868, 2015-Ohio-3975, ¶ 5.
6} Appellate counsel in this matter has followed the
procedure in Anders and we have already granted
counsel's motion to withdraw. This court also notified
appellant of his counsel's representations and afforded
him ample time to file a pro se brief. Appellant did not file
such a brief. This case is now before us for an independent
review to decide whether any arguably meritorious issues
exist. State v. Muhammad, 10th Dist. No. 12AP-906,
2013-Ohio-2776, ¶ 6.
Did the Trial Court Err in Denying Appellant's Motion to
Vacate Sentence and to Withdraw Plea?
7} In counsel's Anders brief, he
proposes one potential assignment of error, in which he
argues that the trial court erred in denying appellant's