Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
Nos. CR-15-597706-A and CR-16-607588-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Thomas A. Rein.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Andrew T. Gatti Assistant County
Prosecutor Justice Center.
BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., Laster Mays, J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
McCORMACK, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant Anthony Lawson appeals from a judgment of
the Cuyahoga Court of Common Pleas that imposed consecutive
sentences for his offenses of escape and obstruction of
justice in two separate cases. He claims the trial court did
not make the requisite findings before imposing consecutive
sentences. He also claims the trial court improperly imposed
court costs in the escape case. Upon a review of the record,
we find merit to these claims.
Lawson was on the court's mental health docket for
schizophrenia. In Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-15-597706-A, he was
charged in July 2015 for escape. He left a community-based
correctional facility ("CBCF") before the end of
his term because he felt the facility was ridden with drug
activities. In September 2015, he pleaded guilty to escape
and was sentenced to two years of community control. However,
he stopped reporting to his probation officer in March 2016.
A capias was issued in May 2016.
An incident on June 26, 2016, led to a charge of obstructing
official business against Lawson in Cuyahoga C.P. No.
CR-16-607588-A. Lawson visited Edgewater Park with his
fiancée. When their vehicle, driven by his
fiancée, left the park and got on Route 2, the vehicle
was pulled over by a Metroparks police officer for a license
plate violation. According to Lawson, after the vehicle
stopped, the officer immediately pointed his gun at him.
Frightened by the gun, he got out of the vehicle, and ran
across Route 2. The officer apprehended him quickly and used
his Taser twice to subdue him. Lawson was charged with
obstructing official business, a felony of the fifth degree,
for putting the life of the officer at substantial risk of
Lawson pleaded guilty in both cases - escape in 597706 and
obstructing official business in 607588. The trial court
sentenced him to one year in prison in the escape case and
one year in prison in the obstruction case. Noting Lawson had
several prior offenses, one of them involved violence - in
that he hit a neighbor with a shovel -the court ordered the
two prison terms to be served consecutively. Regarding the
statutory findings required for consecutive sentences, the
court stated only that "consecutive sentences are
necessary to protect the public." The journal entries in
both cases are devoid of any findings for the imposition of
On appeal, Lawson raises three assignments of error:
1. The trial court erred by ordering Appellant to serve a
consecutive sentence without making the appropriate findings
required by R.C. 2929.14 and HB 86.
2. The trial court erred by ordering Appellant to pay costs
when it did not properly comply with the statute.
3. The court costs imposed at the sentencing hearing
infringes upon appellant's rights under the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, R.C.
2929.18, [R.C. 2929.19(B)(5)], R.C. ...