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State v. Alexander

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 8, 2017

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Leon M. Alexander, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No. 16CR-2947)

          On brief: Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Sheryl L. Prichard, for appellee.

          On brief: The Law Office of Thomas F Hayes, LLC, and Thomas F. Hayes, for appellant.


          SADLER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Leon M. Alexander, appeals from the judgment entry of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas finding appellant guilty of aggravated burglary with a repeat violent offender ("RVO") specification, attempted kidnapping with a sexual motivation specification, possessing criminal tools, aggravated robbery, and felonious assault and sentencing him to a total of 21 years incarceration. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


         {¶ 2} On October 3, 2016, appellant entered a plea of guilty to one count of aggravated burglary, in violation of R.C. 2911.11, with an RVO specification pursuant to R.C. 2941.149(A), a first-degree felony, one count of attempted kidnapping, in violation of R.C. 2923.02, as it relates to R.C. 2905.01, with sexual motivation specification pursuant to R.C. 2941.147(A), a second-degree felony, one count of possessing criminal tools, in violation of R.C. 2923.24, a fifth-degree felony, one count of aggravated robbery, in violation of R.C. 2911.01, a first-degree felony, and one count of felonious assault, in violation of R.C. 2903.11, a second-degree felony. The trial court accepted appellant's plea, ordered a nolle prosequi on the remaining attempted rape count and several additional specifications, and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation ("PSI") report.

         {¶ 3} On October 27, 2017, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. During the hearing, the prosecution asked for consecutive sentences and noted both that the victim in this case was an 89-year-old woman and that appellant held a criminal record of serious offenses. The victim addressed the court, stating that appellant invaded her home at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, wrapped a clothes line around her hands and throat, and when she said she did not have any money, beat her, took her clothes off, removed his own clothes, got a box knife from her kitchen, and told her he was going to rape her and cut her throat. The police, responding to a neighbor's call, apprehended appellant. The victim stated that as a result of the crimes, she was hospitalized, required nursing care and physical therapy, is still learning to walk again, and endures pain and nightmares.

         {¶ 4} The trial court discussed appellant's substantial criminal history whereby appellant "spent more than half of [his] adult lifetime victimizing several senior citizens, all female, by breaking into their homes on * * * at least three separate occasions and threatening their lives" to feed his drug habit. (Sentencing Tr. at 29.) The trial court then proceeded to sentence appellant to 11 years on the aggravated burglary count, 10 years on the associated RVO specification, 7 years on the attempted kidnapping count, 11 months on the possessing criminal tools count, 10 years on the aggravated robbery count, and 6 years on the felonious assault count. The trial court specified that the maximum sentence was being imposed on the aggravated burglary count because appellant "committed the worst form of the offense and [appellant], clearly based upon [his] record, pose[s] a great likelihood of committing future crimes." (Sentencing Tr. at 32.)

         {¶ 5} After confirming with appellee that sentencing on the RVO specification was mandatory consecutive time that did not require "consecutive language" at the hearing, the trial court ran the aggravated burglary sentence consecutive to the RVO specification sentence; defense counsel did not object. (Sentencing Tr. at 32.) The trial court ran the remaining sentences concurrently to each other and the aggravated burglary and RVO specification to arrive at an aggregate sentence of 21 years incarceration. The judgment entry memorializing the sentence states that the trial court considered the purposes and principles of sentencing set forth in R.C. 2929.11, the factors set forth in R.C. 2929.12, and weighed the applicable provisions of R.C. 2929.13 and 2929.14. Appellant filed a timely appeal to this court.


         {¶ 6} Appellant presents one assignment of error:

The trial court erred to the prejudice of Appellant by improperly ordering him to serve consecutive sentences that contravene Ohio's sentencing statutes and principles and violate his due process rights.

         III. ...

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