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State v. Hudson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Jefferson

June 12, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DAVID LEE HUDSON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, Ohio Case No. 87 CR 73

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Jane M. Hanlin Prosecuting Attorney Jefferson County Justice Center

          For Defendant-Appellant: David Lee Hudson, Pro se

          Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb

          OPINION

          WAITE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant David Lee Hudson appeals a February 19, 2016 Jefferson County Common Pleas Court decision to deny his "motion to correct sentence." Appellant argues that the trial court improperly denied his motion without making the requisite findings of fact. Appellant further argues that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion. For the reasons provided, Appellant's arguments are without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶2} On November 15, 1987, Appellant and his three codefendants devised a plan to rob and murder the victim. The men drove to the victim's house and lured him into Appellant's car by telling him that his best friend had been shot. The men drove the victim to a remote area in Jefferson County where the victim was beaten, stabbed, shot, and killed. Appellant was apprehended two weeks later in San Diego, California.

         {¶3} On January 15, 1988, Appellant was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder with specifications, one count of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, and one count of aggravated kidnapping with a firearm specification. Appellant's codefendants were tried separately. Following trial Appellant was convicted on all counts and the jury recommended a sentence of death. Appellant filed a direct appeal with this Court and challenged both his convictions and his sentence.

         {¶4} On appeal, we affirmed Appellant's conviction and sentence in part and reversed in part. State v. Hudson, 7th Dist. No. 88-J-40, 1993 WL 181334 (May 28, 1993) ("Hudson I "). Specifically, we vacated one of Appellant's aggravated murder convictions after finding that he could not be convicted on two counts of aggravated murder when there was only one victim. We also vacated Appellant's aggravated robbery conviction due to insufficient evidence. We determined that Appellant could not be sentenced to death on a sole aggravated murder conviction and remanded the matter for an appropriate sentence.

         {¶5} On January 13, 1994, the trial court resentenced Appellant by means of a nunc pro tunc entry. Appellant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for thirty years, to be served consecutively with a three-year accompanying firearm specification conviction. He was also sentenced to ten-to-twenty years for the aggravated kidnapping conviction, to run consecutively with a three-year accompanying firearm specification. The aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping sentences were ordered to run consecutively. The entry clarified that Appellant would not be sentenced on count two, the second aggravated murder charge, or count four, aggravated robbery.

         {¶6} Appellant filed a second appeal where he contested the trial court's ability to impose consecutive sentences when the offenses were part of the same act or transaction. We affirmed the trial court's sentence in State v. Hudson, 7th Dist. No. 94-J-10, 1994 WL 715648 (Dec. 20, 1994) ("Hudson II").

         {¶7} On February 3, 2016, Appellant filed a "motion to correct sentence" with the trial court. In his motion, Appellant argued that his sentence contains an error that would render his sentence contradictory. Appellant contends he was given the possibility of parole after serving thirty years. However, the trial court ordered his sentences to run concurrently, for an aggregate total of at least forty-six years. As a result, he argues that he is not truly eligible for parole until he serves forty-six years, contrary to the sentence the court imposed for his aggravated murder conviction. On February 19, 2016, the trial court summarily denied the motion. Appellant timely appeals. The state failed to file a response brief. As Appellant's two assignments of error are related, they will be jointly addressed.

         ASSIGNMENT ...


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