APPEAL FROM PREBLE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No.
P. Votel, Preble County Prosecuting Attorney, Gractia S.
Manning, Preble County Courthouse, for plaintiff-appellee
Kirsten Knight, for defendant-appellant
1} Defendant-appellant, Arnon C. Collins, Jr.,
appeals from his conviction in the Preble County Court of
Common Pleas after he pled no contest to a variety of drug
charges and failing to comply with an order or signal of a
police officer. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.
2} On August 3, 2015, the Preble County Grand Jury
returned a four-count indictment charging Collins with
illegal manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.04(A),
a second-degree felony, illegal assembly or possession of
chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.041(A), a third-degree felony, failure to comply with an
order or signal of a police officer in violation of R.C.
2921.331(B), also a third-degree felony, and illegal use or
possession of drug paraphernalia in violation of R.C.
2925.14(C)(1), a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Although
contained in the original complaint filed with the Eaton
Municipal Court, an additional aggravated possession of drugs
charge in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A)(C)(1)(b), then charged
as a third-degree felony, was inadvertently left off the
3} According to the original complaint filed in this
matter, the charges stemmed from the events occurring on July
14, 2015. On that date, Deputy Shane Hatfield of the Preble
County Sheriffs Office was traveling northbound on Jordan
Road located within Preble County when he noticed Collins
driving a motorcycle southbound on that same road. Knowing
that Collins had three active felony warrants for his arrest
in Montgomery County, Deputy Hatfield turned his cruiser
around and began pursuit of Collins with both his lights and
siren activated. Collins did not stop and a high-speed chase
ensued with speeds reaching approximately 80 miles per hour.
4} After turning off Jordan Road onto Enterprise
Road, the chain broke on Collins' motorcycle, which
caused Collins to abandon the motorcycle and continue his
attempt to escape from Deputy Hatfield on foot. During this
time, Deputy Hatfield observed Collins wearing a black
backpack. Deputy Hatfield eventually caught up with Collins
and placed him under arrest. Deputy Hatfield then conducted a
search of Collins incident to his arrest and discovered
within the black backpack approximately five grams of
"wet, " recently made, methamphetamine, as well as
a glass smoking pipe with burn marks, marijuana, a variety of
unidentified pills, a digital scale, and a cell phone.
5} Following Collins' arrest, Deputy Hatfield
and Detective Robert Schneider responded to Collins'
residence located at 4371 Jordan Road, Lewisburg, Preble
County, Ohio. Once there, the complaint indicates Deputy
Hatfield and Detective Schneider received consent to search
the property from Collins' parents.
6} Upon searching the property, Deputy Hatfield and
Detective Schneider located Collins' vehicle parked
behind a barn, which, upon looking through the windows,
Deputy Hatfield could see in plain view several items
associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. A search
warrant was then obtained that resulted in additional items
associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine being
discovered. It is undisputed that Deputy Hatfield's
warrant affidavit stated that he, Deputy Brad Moore, and
Detective Schneider, responded to the Collins residence where
they then "received consent to search the property from
7} On August 4, 2015, Attorney Brian Muenchenbach
("Attorney Muenchenbach") entered his appearance as
Collins' trial counsel. Approximately three weeks later,
on August 27, 2015, the state faxed Attorney Muenchenbach a
plea offer asking Collins to plead guilty to illegal assembly
or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in
violation of R.C. 2925.041(A), a third-degree felony that
carried a mandatory five-year prison term due to Collins
prior drug convictions. In exchange for Collins' guilty
plea to this single charge, the state agreed to dismiss the
remaining charges in the indictment. The plea offer further
stated, in pertinent part, the following:
The original indictment did not contain the F3 Aggravated
Possession of Drugs count contained in the original
complaint. The State has received a lab report that makes
possession of meth an F1 with a mandatory 11 year prison
term. Therefore, should the Defendant not accept the agreed 5
year prison term, the State will supersede the indictment at
October's grand jury[.]
plea offer also specifically stated that the offer was to
expire one month later on September 28, 2015. The deadline to
accept the plea offer was later extended to October 2, 2015.
8} On October 2, 2015, contrary to Attorney
Muenchenbach's advice, Collins rejected the state's
plea offer. As Attorney Muenchenbach later testified,
"we had a long conversation about it, and we decided
that, Mr. Collins decided that he was going to take his
chances with the suppression, and decided to reject the offer
at that point." As a result, and just as the state said
it would, on October 5, 2015, the Preble County Grand Jury
returned a superseding indictment that included an additional
charge of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C.