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State v. Miller

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Clermont

May 15, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TODD E. MILLER, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM CLERMONT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 2013 CR 0749

          D. Vincent Faris, Clermont County Prosecuting Attorney, Katherine Terpstra, for plaintiff-appellee

          Todd E. Miller, Chillicothe Correctional Institution, pro se.

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Todd E. Miller, appeals from the decision of the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas denying his most recent pro se post-sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On January 30, 2014, the Clermont County Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment charging Miller with, among other things, illegal manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.04(A), a first-degree felony in accordance with R.C. 2925.04(C)(3)(b). According to the bill of particulars, the charge arose after the Clermont County Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at a residence located at 807 Greenwood Lane, Clermont County, Ohio, where they discovered Miller engaged in the manufacturing of methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school zone. At the time the search warrant was executed, it is undisputed that 280 children were present at that nearby school.

         {¶ 3} On February 7, 2014, Miller, represented by counsel, filed a suggestion of incompetence requesting the trial court to order a clinical examination of Miller to determine his competence to stand trial. Several days later, on February 11, 2014, Miller, again through counsel, filed a motion requesting the trial court order a psychiatric evaluation of Miller to determine his then present mental condition. The following day, on February 12, 2014, the trial court granted Miller's motion ordering a psychiatric examination of Miller's present mental condition. The trial court further ordered the examiner who conducted the psychiatric examination to provide a written report providing his or her opinion as to whether Miller was competent to stand trial and, if not, whether Miller could be returned to competency within one year.

         {¶ 4} On February 28, 2014, the trial court held a hearing on the issue of Miller's competency to stand trial. At this hearing, the parties stipulated to the contents and the admissibility of a report submitted by Dr. Emily Davis, Psy.D. a doctor with Summit Behavioral Healthcare ("SBH"), that Miller was, at that time, incompetent to stand trial. As a result, based on the stipulation of the parties, the trial court found Miller was not competent to stand trial. The trial court, however, determined that there was a substantial probability that Miller would become competent to stand trial within one year if he was provided with an appropriate course of treatment. Therefore, the trial court ordered Miller to undergo treatment at SBH for a period not to exceed six months.

         {¶ 5} On April 17, 2014, the trial court received a letter from SBH requesting authorization to involuntarily medicate Miller in an effort to restore his competency to stand trial. Approximately one week later, on April 23, 2014, the trial court held a hearing on the matter. At this hearing, the parties stipulated to a report from Dr. Elizabeth Gilday, M.D., also a doctor with SBH, who noted Miller's need to be medicated in order to regain his competency to stand trial. As noted by the trial court in its entry, at that hearing, Miller stipulated to the following:

[T]he defendant stipulated he is facing serious criminal charges, that the medications would substantially likely render the defendant competent to stand trial, that the treatment is medically appropriate, and that the medication is substantially unlikely to have side effects that would interfere significantly with the defendant's ability to assist counsel in his own defense, and thus undermine the fairness of the trial. Further, in taking account of less intrusive alternatives, the defendant stipulated that the administration of the medication is necessary to further important governmental trial-related interests.

         {¶ 6} Due to Miller's stipulations, which are supported by the record, as well as Dr. Gilday's report and testimony about the medications needed to restore Miller's competency, the trial court granted SBH's request to involuntarily medicate Miller with the specific medications provided in Dr. Gilday's report should Miller later refuse to the administration of those named medications.

         {¶ 7} On July 3, 2014, the trial court held another hearing on the issue of Miller's competency to stand trial. At this hearing, the parties stipulated to the contents and admissibility of a report by Dr. Charles Lee, Ed.D, yet another doctor with SBH, that Miller's competency to stand trial had successfully been restored. As a result, the trial court found Miller was now competent to stand trial. The trial court then ordered Miller returned to SBH for the continued administration of his medications, or other treatment, in order to maintain Miller's competency until trial.

         {¶ 8} On August 25, 2014, instead of going to trial, Miller entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty to illegal manufacture of drugs in exchange for the remaining charges being dismissed. After engaging Miller in a full Crim.R. 11 plea colloquy, the trial court accepted Miller's guilty plea upon finding he entered the plea knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Thereafter, on October 1, 2014, the trial court sentenced Miller to serve a mandatory term of seven years in prison and ordered him to pay court costs. The trial court also suspended Miller's driver's license for a period of three years and notified him that he would be subject to a mandatory term of five years of postrelease control following his release from prison. Miller did not file an appeal from his conviction or sentence.

         {¶ 9} Nearly a year later, on September 8, 2015, Miller filed a pro se motion to dismiss all charges. In support of this claim, Miller cited extensively to the Uniform Commercial Code, the Congressional Act of 1871, and the Buck Act of 1940, among others, alleging the trial court had no jurisdiction over him because he was a sovereign citizen who was not subject to prosecution by the state of Ohio. Construing Miller's motion as a petition for postconviction relief, the trial court denied Miller's petition on November 4, 2015 upon ...


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