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State v. Solomon

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 13, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JARON SOLOMON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-15-597809-A

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Robert L. Tobik Cuyahoga County Public Defender BY: Paul Kuzmins Assistant Public Defender

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor BY: Anthony Thomas Miranda Ashley B. Kilbane Assistant County Prosecutors Justice Center

          BEFORE: Boyle, P.J., S. Gallagher, J., and Laster Mays, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MARY J. BOYLE, PRESIDING JUDGE

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Jaron Solomon, appeals his conviction. He raises one assignment of error for our review: Appellant's change of plea was not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily made where he pleaded guilty with the erroneous belief that he could appeal the trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress.

         {¶2} Finding no merit to his appeal, we affirm.

         I. Procedural History and Factual Background

         {¶3} Solomon was indicted on two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of felonious assault after his DNA was confirmed on a hairbrush that was left at the scene of an aggravated robbery that took place at a gas station on May 7, 2015. Specifically, the hairbrush was found on the ground next to a victim who had been shot during the course of the robbery. The victim told a Cleveland police detective at the scene that he believed the hairbrush belonged to the man who shot him. The detective submitted the hairbrush for DNA testing and later learned that Solomon's DNA was on the hairbrush. The detective then reviewed video recordings taken from surveillance cameras at the gas station and saw that Solomon was indeed "on the scene." The detective subsequently obtained a warrant for Solomon's arrest. Solomon was later arrested when he went to the county jail to visit someone.

         {¶4} Solomon initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and then moved to suppress a statement that he gave to the Cleveland police detective the day after he was arrested. The trial court held a hearing on Solomon's motion and subsequently denied it. That same day, Solomon withdrew his former plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to second-degree felonious assault with a one- and three-year firearm specification. The remaining charges were nolled.

         {¶5} The trial court merged the firearm specifications and sentenced Solomon to three years in prison on the firearm specification, to be served prior to and consecutive to four years for the felonious assault charge, for a total of seven years. The trial court further advised Solomon that he would be subject to a mandatory three years of postrelease control upon his release from prison. It is from this judgment that Solomon appeals.[1]

         II. Voluntary, Knowing, and Intelligent Plea

         {¶6} In his sole assignment of error, Solomon contends that his plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered into - not because the trial court did not comply with Crim.R. 11 - but because the trial court did not inform him that by pleading guilty, he would not be able to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress.

         {¶7} At the close of the suppression hearing in this case, after the trial court denied Solomon's motion, defense counsel stated, "[o]bviously in light of the court's ruling, and to preserve a record should a reviewing court look at this, I would voice an objection to the court's decision. But I would also ask you to allow us a few minutes to talk prior to ...


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