Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeals from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
APPELLANT Asa J. Asadi-Ousley, pro se.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Daniel T. Van Assistant Prosecuting
BEFORE: E.A. Gallagher, J., Keough, A.J., and McCormack, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. GALLAGHER, J.
In this consolidated appeal, defendant-appellant Asa
Asadi-Ousley, pro se, appeals from (1) the trial court's
order denying his petition for postconviction relief pursuant
to R.C. 2953.21 (Appeal No. 104714) and (2) the trial
court's order denying his motion for relief from judgment
pursuant to Civ.R. 60(B) (Appeal No. 105103). Asadi-Ousley
contends that his convictions should be vacated because (1)
his speedy trial rights under R.C. 2941.401 were violated,
and (2) he was denied effective assistance of counsel based
on trial counsel's failure to seek a dismissal of the
indictment due to the alleged violation of his speedy trial
rights. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial
and Procedural Background
On March 23, 2015, while Asadi-Ousley was serving a six-year
prison term arising out of his convictions in three unrelated
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court cases (Case Nos.
CR-10-537412, CR-10-537780 and CR-10-540397), he filed, pro
se, a "motion for speedy disposition of (all)
outstanding criminal charges; indictments; informations; or
complaints via R.C. § 2941.401" ("motion for
speedy disposition") in Case No. CR-10-537412. In his
motion, Asadi-Ousley "demand[ed] speedy disposition of
any criminal charges per 2941.401" and stated that he
did not consent to the waiver of his R.C. 2941.401 rights by
On July 29, 2015, a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted
Asadi-Ousley in CR-15-537412 on two counts of rape with
sexual predator specifications, two counts of aggravated
robbery, one count of felonious assault and two counts of
kidnapping - one of which included a sexual motivation
specification and sexual predator specification. The charges
arose out of a December 31, 2008 sexual assault in which
Asadi-Ousley allegedly held a knife to the victim's neck,
pushed her into an alley, hit her on the head and raped her.
Asadi-Ousley was arraigned on August 11, 2015 and pled not
guilty to the charges against him.
The case proceeded to a jury trial that commenced on January
4, 2016. The jury was impaneled and sworn on January 5,
2016. The following day, the parties presented
opening statements and the state began calling its witnesses.
On or about January 11, 2016, the jury returned its verdict.
The jury found Asadi-Ousley guilty on the two rape counts,
the felonious assault count and the two kidnapping counts,
including the accompanying sexual motivation specification.
The jury found him not guilty on the two aggravated robbery
counts. Asadi-Ousley waived a jury trial on the sexual
predator specifications and the trial court found him guilty.
The convictions on the two rape counts and the convictions on
the two kidnapping counts merged for sentencing. On February
17, 2016, the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing at
which it sentenced Asadi-Ousley to life with the possibility
of parole after 15 years for rape, 8 years for felonious
assault and life with the possibility of parole after 15
years for kidnapping. The trial court ordered all of the
sentences to be served concurrently to each other and
concurrently to the six-year prison sentence Asadi-Ousley was
already serving. Asadi-Ousley was also sentenced to five
years mandatory postrelease control. The trial court entered
its sentencing journal entry imposing these sentences on
February 22, 2016. Asadi-Ousley appealed his convictions and
sentences (Appeal No. 104267).
On April 5, 2016, Asadi-Ousley filed, pro se, a
"petition for post conviction relief via R.C.
2953.21-.23." Asadi-Ousley argued that his speedy trial
rights under R.C. 2941.401 had been violated because 335 days
had elapsed between the date he allegedly mailed his motion
for speedy disposition (March 19, 2015) and the date the
trial court entered its sentencing journal entry (February
22, 2016). He argued that as a result of the violation of his
speedy trial rights, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to
convict him and that his judgment of conviction was void.
Asadi-Ousley also claimed that he was denied effective
assistance of trial counsel because trial counsel allegedly
advised Asadi-Ousley that he could not file a motion to
dismiss the indictment in this case because Asadi-Ousley had
filed his motion for speedy disposition under the wrong case
number. In support of his petition, Asadi-Ousley attached
copies of his motion for speedy disposition and a certified
mail receipt reflecting service on the Cuyahoga County
Prosecutor's office dated March 25, 2016. He also
attached an affidavit in which he attested to the facts set
forth in his petition and claimed that trial counsel had told
him that it was "not wise to file a motion to dismiss
the indictment for lack of speedy disposition, because the
Judge would be mad and would go hard on me during
sentencing." Asadi-Ousley claimed that he told trial
counsel to file the motion to dismiss anyway but that trial
counsel failed to do so.
On June 10, 2016, the trial court denied Asadi-Ousley's
petition for postconviction relief. As set forth in its
findings of fact and conclusions of law, the trial court
determined that - not including any tolling events - less
than 180 days had elapsed between the date of
Asadi-Ousley's indictment in this case and the
commencement of trial and that, therefore, Asadi-Ousley's
speedy trial rights under R.C. 2941.401 had not been
Asadi-Ousley appealed the trial court's denial of his
petition for postconviction relief (Appeal No. 104714),