Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
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
J. STEWART, P.J.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 ...