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State v. Fortson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

May 25, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
TIMOTHY FORTSON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-96-341112-ZA

          FOR APPELLANT Timothy Fortson, pro se

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By Mary McGrath Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Blackmon, J., S. Gallagher, P.J., and Jones, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, J.

         {¶1} Timothy Fortson ("Fortson") acting pro se, appeals from the trial court's denial of his petition to vacate or set aside judgment of conviction or sentence and assigns the following errors for our review:

I. The petitioner was deprived Equal Protection Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10 and 16 of the Ohio Constitution, when the trial court failed to follow the dictates set forth in Ohio Revised Code 2945.10(G).
II. The State violated the petitioner's right to a speedy trial in violation of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10 and [sic] of the Ohio Constitution.
III. The trial court violated Petitioner's right to Procedural Due Process right and Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution, when it failed to file a jury verdict form.
IV. The petitioner was deprived of his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Ohio Constitution, where the trial court lacked jurisdiction of his case, due to an unsworn complaint of the police officer in his case.
V. The petitioner was denied the right to a fair trial, Due Process, and Equal Protection under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment [sic] to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 10 and 16 of the Ohio Constitution, when the trial court denied him the right to the compulsory process.

         {¶2} Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm. The apposite facts follow.

         {¶3} On December 17, 1996, a jury convicted Fortson of two counts of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated robbery, all with firearm specifications. The trial court sentenced Fortson to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This court affirmed Fortson's convictions and sentence on direct appeal in State v. Fortson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 72229, 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 6104 (Dec. 17, 1998). Additionally, this court denied Fortson's application for reopening in State v. Fortson, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 72229, 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 245 (Jan. 23, 2001).

         {¶4} On January 8, 2016, Fortson filed a petition to vacate or set aside judgment of conviction or sentence, which the trial court denied without a hearing on August ...


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