FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 15-CR-090872
J. DARLING, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATASHA RUIZ GUERRIERI,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Defendant-Appellant, Kevin D. Jones, appeals the sentence
imposed by the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm.
Officers from the Elyria Police Department arrested Jones in
the early morning hours of December 16, 2014, after Jones
entered his girlfriend's apartment and beat her in front
of their infant daughter. As a result of this incident, the
Lorain County Grand Jury indicted Jones on the following four
offenses: (1) aggravated burglary in violation of R.C.
2911.11(A)(1), a first-degree felony; (2) felonious assault
in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1), a second-degree felony;
(3) menacing by stalking in violation of R.C. 2903.211(A)(1),
a fourth-degree felony; and (4) domestic violence in
violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), a first-degree misdemeanor.
Jones entered a not guilty plea to each of the charges
contained in the indictment. Jones waived his right to a jury
trial and the matter proceeded as a trial to the bench.
At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court found Jones
guilty on all counts contained in the indictment. At the
sentencing hearing, the trial court determined that the
domestic abuse count merged with the felonious assault count
for purposes of sentencing. The trial court then proceeded to
sentence Jones to three years in prison on the aggravated
burglary count and six years in prison on the felonious
assault count. The trial court ordered that those sentences
be served consecutively, but specifically avoided determining
whether the sentence was mandatory under R.C. 2929.13(F)(6).
The trial court also sentenced Jones to seven months in
prison on the menacing by stalking count, but ordered that
sentence to be served concurrently with the aggravated
burglary count. In sum, the trial court sentenced Jones to
nine years in prison and ordered that the sentence in this
case be served consecutively to the sentences imposed in
Jones's other criminal cases that are not relevant to
Jones filed this timely appeal, raising one assignment of
error for this Court's review.
trial court violated Mr. Jones's right to due process by
declining to rule on whether Mr. Jones's prior juvenile
adjudication is a conviction for purposes of R.C.
2929.13(F)(6), and the court should decide whether Mr.
Jones's prior juvenile adjudication is a conviction for
purposes of R.C. 2929.13(F)(6).
In his sole assignment of error, Jones argues that the trial
court erred by explicitly refusing to determine whether his
prior delinquency adjudication constituted a conviction for
purposes of R.C. 2929.13(F)(6). Particularly, Jones contends that
the trial court's abstention in this regard was erroneous
because the resolution of this issue necessarily dictates
whether his nine-year prison sentence in this matter is
mandatory, or whether he will be eligible for judicial
release. We disagree with Jones's argument since we
determine that the trial court's indecision constitutes
R.C. 2929.19(B)(2)(a) provides that, "if the sentencing
court determines at the sentencing hearing that a prison term
is necessary or required, the court shall * * * [i]mpose a
stated prison term and, if the court imposes a mandatory
prison term, notify the offender that the prison term is a
mandatory prison term." In this case, the trial court
determined that a prison term was appropriate. The trial
court then proceeded to sentence Jones ...