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State v. Parker

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 15, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
CAMERON PARKER DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-603992-A

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Allison S. Breneman

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brett Hammond Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Stewart, P.J., Laster Mays, J., and Jones, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          MELODY J. STEWART, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Cameron Parker was indicted on one count of felonious assault, one count of kidnapping, and one count of disrupting public services after getting violent in the midst of an argument with his ex-girlfriend. He entered a negotiated plea, pleading guilty to two counts: burglary, a fourth-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2911.12(B), and assault, a first-degree misdemeanor, in violation of R.C. 2903.13(A). The third count was nolled. The court sentenced Parker to 18 months in prison and imposed a $500 fine. Parker raises a single assignment of error, arguing that the trial court was required to impose community control sanctions instead of a prison term. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         {¶2} Before reaching the merits of this case, we note that there appeared to be an issue of whether we have a final appealable order. While the journal entry states that the court imposed a sentence of 18 months on Count 2, there is no clear sentence entry for Count 1. The remaining count, as mentioned, was nolled. The journal entry does, however, contain the following statement: "[t]he defendant is ordered to pay a fine in the sum of $500.00. ($250.00 fine on each count)." Because Parker pleaded guilty to two counts, it follows that the sentence for Count 1 consisted solely of a $250 fine. Review of the sentencing transcript confirms this. The court stated "[o]n the charge of simple assault, the sentence of the Court is $250 and costs." Tr. 19. Finding that we have a final, appealable order, we proceed to the merits.

         {¶3} As outlined in the presentence investigation report, and as confirmed by the victim at sentencing, Parker's burglary and assault convictions arose when he went to his ex-girlfriend's home and argued with her about seeing her phone. The argument became physical. Parker strangled his ex-girlfriend and threw her on her bed. She tried to escape multiple times, but was unable to do so. Parker strangled her again. He then struck her in the face several times with a closed fist causing facial lacerations. Parker refused to take her to the hospital and left. The ex-girlfriend then called 911 and was taken to the hospital by EMS where she received stitches for lacerations on her mouth.

         {¶4} Parker assigns as error that the trial court abused its discretion by sentencing him to a prison term on the burglary count, a fourth-degree felony.

         {¶5} Although this court has no authority to review Parker's sentence for an abuse of discretion, State v. Nitsche, 2016-Ohio-3170, 66 N.E.3d 135, ¶ 65 (8th Dist), our review of felony sentences is governed by the standards set forth in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2) which, in relevant part, provides that an appellate court may disturb a sentence upon finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that either the record does not support the sentence under R.C. 2929.13(B), or that the sentence is "otherwise contrary to law."

         {¶6} R.C. 2929.13 circumscribes a court's ability to impose a prison sentence for felony convictions. Subdivision (B)(1)(a) creates a presumption in favor of community control sanctions for felonies of the fourth or fifth degree that meet specified criteria.

Except as provided in division (B)(1)(b) of this section, if an offender is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony of the fourth or fifth degree that is not an offense of violence or that is a qualifying assault offense, the court shall sentence the offender to a community control sanction of at least one year's duration if all of the following apply:
(i) The offender previously has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony offense.
(ii) The most serious charge against the offender at the time of sentencing is a felony of the ...

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