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State v. Travis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Seneca

August 21, 2017


         Appeal from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 15-CR-0220

          Terrell Travis, Appellant

          Angela M. Boes for Appellee


          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Terrell K. Travis ("Travis"), brings this appeal from the March 24, 2017, judgment of the Seneca County Common Pleas Court denying Travis's "Motion for Order Compelling Return of Motor Vehicle without Requiring Fees."

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On November 25, 2015, the Seneca County Grand Jury indicted Travis on seven felony drug offenses: Counts 1 through 4 were Trafficking in Heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1), (C)(6)(b), all felonies of the fourth degree; Count 5 was Trafficking in Heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), (C)(6)(e), a felony of the first degree; Count 6 was Trafficking in Cocaine in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), (C)(4)(c), a felony of the third degree; and Count 7 was Possession of Criminal Tools in violation of R.C. 2923.24(A), (C), a felony of the fifth degree. Counts 1-6 contained specifications alleging that the offenses were committed within the vicinity of a school and that certain property was subject to forfeiture as proceeds derived from and/or instrumentalities used in the commission of or facilitation of the offenses pursuant to R.C. 2981.02. Those items subject to forfeiture included $3, 370.00 in U.S. currency, a power converter, Bluetooth, Sirius radio, Garmin GPS, Magellan GPS, six cellular phones, Hisense Smart TV, Xbox with controller and games, Kindle, MP3 player, and a 2007 Ford Edge VIN #2FMDK48C67BB33299.

         {¶3} Travis originally pled not guilty to the charges. However, Travis later entered into a written negotiated plea agreement with the State wherein he agreed to plead guilty to all of the counts in the indictment and the specifications including the forfeiture of all of the listed items, with the one exception that the 2007 Ford Edge was explicitly left out of the forfeiture agreement. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the State and Travis jointly recommended a total prison term of 9 years (7 of which were mandatory) along with fines. The trial court accepted the guilty pleas and Travis was sentenced to serve the jointly recommended prison term. A judgment entry memorializing Travis's sentence was filed March 3, 2016. A separate judgment entry was filed that same date forfeiting the specified property (other than the 2007 Ford Edge).

         {¶4} Travis appealed his convictions and sentence to this Court, arguing that his pleas were not made knowingly and voluntarily, that his right to a speedy trial was violated and that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to raise the issue of speedy trial. In an unpublished judgment entry determined on this Court's accelerated calendar, this Court overruled Travis's assignments of error. State v. Travis, 3d Dist. Seneca No. 13-16-08.

         {¶5} Following his direct appeal, on December 1, 2016, Travis filed a pro se "Motion for Specific Performance" in the trial court, arguing that as part of his plea agreement the State was required to return "his 2007 Ford [E]dge." (Emphasis added.) (Doc. No. 65). Travis contended that his "mother went and had the title put in her name and went again to pick up the 2007 Ford [E]dge and was then told that it could not be released to her because the defendant had a pending appeal in this case. The defendant's appeal was ruled on * * * and the case is over. * * * At this time the defendant would ask [for] * * * an order directing the state to release his 2007 Ford [E]dge as set forth in his plea agreement or to rescind his plea contract with the [S]tate of Ohio." (Id.)

         {¶6} On February 17, 2017, the State filed a response to Travis's motion. In its response the State agreed that the 2007 Ford Edge had been excluded from forfeiture in this case pursuant to the plea agreement; however, the State contended that this exclusion was on the basis that Travis was not the owner of the 2007 Ford Edge. The State indicated that Travis had said his mother was in the process of having title of the 2007 Ford Edge transferred to her. Further, the State indicated that the vehicle was released to Keller's Towing where defendant's mother could recover it, but she "refused to pay the storage fees." (Doc. No. 68). The State argued that it was through no fault of the State that the vehicle had not been recovered by its rightful owner.

         {¶7} On February 21, 2017, Travis filed a "Motion to Amend Defendant's Motion for Specific Performance and Motion to Proceed to Judgment." Although he characterized his motion as a "motion to amend, " Travis's document essentially contained additional arguments supporting his original motion, though he did affirmatively indicate that he wanted to "rescind" his plea agreement.

         {¶8} On February 24, 2017, the trial court filed a judgment entry on the matter. After reviewing Travis's arguments, the trial court determined that the State of Ohio had complied with the plea agreement with Travis. The trial court found that the 2007 Ford Edge "was properly transferred to a storage facility and out of the possession of the State of Ohio. The Vehicle is at Keller's Towing, and is recoverable by the owner of the Vehicle upon the payment of storage fees." (Doc. No. 70). The trial court denied all of Travis's pending motions.

         {¶9} Travis did not file an appeal of the February 24, 2017, ...

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