Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Michael P. Maloney
APPELLANT Ronson D. Whaley, pro se
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Daniel A. Cleary Assistant County
BEFORE: Jones, J., E.A. Gallagher, P.J., and Boyle, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR., J.
Defendant-appellant Ronson D. Whaley appeals from his
conviction and sentence to seven years in prison for the
offenses of attempted rape and abduction. Whaley's
counsel filed a brief under Anders v. California,
386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967),
indicating that there are no meritorious, nonfrivolous issues
for this court's review.
In March 2016, Whaley was charged with the following five
crimes: Count 1, rape; Count 2, aggravated robbery; Count 3,
felonious assault; and Counts 4 and 5, kidnapping, each with
a sexual motivation specification.
In June 2016, Whaley pleaded guilty to Count 1, amended to
attempted rape, and Count 4, amended to abduction. The
parties agreed that the two counts would merge for the
purpose of sentencing. The matter was referred to the adult
probation department for a presentence investigation, after
which, the trial court sentenced Whaley to a
seven-year-prison term on the attempted rape count, and
labeled him a Tier III sex offender.
Request to Withdraw and Anders Brief
In Anders, the United States Supreme Court held
that, if after a conscientious examination of the record, a
defendant's counsel concludes the case is wholly
frivolous, then he or she should so advise the court and
request permission to withdraw. Id. at 744. Counsel
must accompany his or her request with a brief identifying
anything in the record that could arguably support his or her
client's appeal. Id. Counsel also must: (1)
furnish his or client with a copy of the brief and request to
withdraw; and, (2) allow his or her client sufficient time to
raise any matters that the client chooses. Id. Once
the defendant's counsel satisfies these requirements, the
appellate court must fully examine the proceedings below to
determine if any arguably meritorious issues exist.
Id. If the appellate court also determines that the
appeal is wholly frivolous, it may grant counsel's
request to withdraw and dismiss the appeal without violating
constitutional requirements, or may proceed to a decision on
the merits if state law so requires. Id.
Here, Whaley's appellate counsel filed a motion to
withdraw on the ground that he found no merit to the appeal.
Counsel also filed a brief, in which he has identified one
potential assignment of error for our consideration. It is:
"Whether appellant entered his guilty plea knowingly,
intelligently and voluntarily." Counsel served Whaley
with a copy of both his motion to withdraw and his
Anders brief By order dated March 20, 2017, we
informed Whaley that the Anders brief had been filed
and advised him of his right to file his own brief and the
time limit for doing so. Whaley has not filed a pro se brief,
and the time for filing has expired.
Crim.R. 11(C) "governs the process that a trial court
must use before accepting a felony plea of guilty or no
contest." State v. Veney,120 Ohio St.3d 176,
2008-Ohio-5200, 897 N.E.2d 621, ¶ 8. Before
"accepting a guilty * * * plea, the court must make the
determinations and give the warning required by Crim.R.
11(C)(2)(a) and (b), " as well as "notify the
defendant of the constitutional rights listed in Crim.R.
11(C)(2)(c)." Id. at ¶ 13. To
"satisfy the requirements of due process, a plea of
guilty * * * must be knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and
the record must affirmatively demonstrate" as much.
State v. ...