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State v. Decola

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Ashtabula

June 12, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
JERRY DECOLA, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal from the Ashtabula Municipal Court, Case No. 15 CRB 01157 AB.

          Michael Franklin, Ashtabula City Solicitor, and Lori B. Lamer, Assistant Ashtabula City Solicitor, Ashtabula Municipal Court, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Sheila M. Sexton, (For Defendant-Appellant).


          TIMOTHY P. CANNON, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Jerry DeCola, appeals from the June 21, 2016 judgment entry of sentence of the Ashtabula Municipal Court. The trial court found appellant guilty of resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 2921.33(A), and of aggravated disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 2917.11(A)(1) & (E)(3). For the following reasons, the trial court's decision is affirmed.

         {¶2} A summons and complaint was filed in the Ashtabula Municipal Court on July 27, 2015, charging appellant with resisting arrest and aggravated disorderly conduct. Appellant was summoned to appear in court on August 4, 2015. After appellant failed to appear, the trial court issued a warrant for his arrest on August 13, 2015.

         {¶3} Appellant appeared in court on November 30, 2015. It is unclear from the record whether appellant was arrested on the warrant issued or if he appeared on his own. Appellant explained that he failed to appear on August 4, 2015, because he had been in the hospital and was told "the Court date might have been cancelled and everything." After the judge explained appellant's rights and the effects of different pleas, appellant requested an attorney. A plea of not guilty was entered on appellant's behalf. The following exchange took place regarding appellant's speedy trial rights:

Court: Okay. Well, you have a right to what's known as a speedy trial. That would be, we would have to set this within a period of time, where you would have to be ready to proceed and have all your witnesses, and the prosecutor would be ready to go to trial.
If you would like to have a pretrial, you would waive your speedy trial rights and you would request a pretrial, where your attorney and you can meet with the prosecutor to see if this matter can be resolved before going to trial. That's why it's called a pretrial.
So, it is up to you what you want to do.
Appellant: A pretrial.

         {¶4} Thereafter, appellant executed a written time waiver, which states, "I fully understand that my request may result in an extension of time beyond that provided for under O.R.C. 2945.71. I further acknowledge and waive my rights pursuant to O.R.C. 2945.71, 2945.72 and 2945.73, as well as the Federal and State Constitutional speedy trial provisions."

         {¶5} Appellant was appointed counsel and a pretrial was set for March 1, 2016. The case was set for a change of plea hearing on April 7, 2016. Plea negotiations broke down, and the parties requested the matter be set for trial, which was scheduled for May 24, 2016.

         {¶6} Appellant appeared for trial before the court on May 24, 2016, represented by counsel. Prior to trial, he agreed to enter a no contest plea to both charges, waiving presentation of evidence and stipulating to a finding of guilt. Before taking his plea, the judge explained the charges, the maximum penalty under each charge, and the constitutional rights appellant would waive by pleading no contest. The trial court accepted the pleas and made a finding of guilty.

         {¶7} On June 21, 2016, appellant was sentenced to a jail term of 100 days with 90 days suspended and 0 days credit for time served. Appellant was ordered to report to jail on September 27, 2016. Appellant was placed on one year of supervised probation. He was to continue treatment at Signature Health and follow all treatment recommendations. The court also imposed a fine of $750, with $250 suspended, for resisting arrest and a fine of $100 for aggravated disorderly conduct, plus costs.

         {¶8} On July 21, 2016, appellant filed a timely notice of appeal from the trial court's June 21, 2016 sentencing entry.

         {¶9} Appellant asserts two assignments of error on appeal:

[1.] The trial court committed prejudicial error in denying Defendant-Appellant his speedy trial rights.
[2.] The trial court committed prejudicial error in accepting a plea from the Defendant-Appellant without adequate inquiry into ...

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