Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT James J. Hofelich.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Andrew F. Rogalski Assistant County
Prosecutor Justice Center.
BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and S.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
McCORMACK, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant Roderick Davis appeals from his
conviction following a guilty plea to one count of
kidnapping. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Davis was charged in a three-count indictment: Count 1 - rape
in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b); Count 2 - gross sexual
imposition in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4); and Count 3 -
kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), with a sexual
motivation specification. The charges stem from an incident
that occurred in January 2016 and involved a ten-year-old
Davis initially entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
In response to Davis's concern with his appointed counsel
and appointed counsel's request to withdraw from the
matter, the trial court assigned new counsel. Thereafter,
with the assistance of new counsel, Davis withdrew his
previously entered not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to
amended Count 3, kidnapping, without the sexual motivation
specification. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state
agreed to nolle the remaining charges.
After engaging in a Crim.R. 11 plea colloquy with Davis and
advising Davis of the terms of the plea agreement and the
rights he was waiving, the trial court accepted his guilty
plea, finding that it was knowingly, intelligently, and
voluntarily made. The court found Davis guilty and ordered a
presentence investigation report. On a later date, the court
determined that Davis had not overcome the presumption of
prison and it sentenced Davis to seven years imprisonment.
Davis now appeals. In two assignments of error, Davis claims
he was denied the effective assistance of counsel and the
trial court abused its discretion by inquiring into the
parties' pretrial negotiations for sentencing purposes.
With respect to Davis's first claim, he argues that trial
counsel was ineffective in not properly advising him of the
elements of kidnapping, and had he been properly advised, it
is "unlikely" he would have entered the plea
agreement. In support, he refers to two statements in the
record: trial counsel's assertion that his client
"would never agree to plead to any type of sexual
offense" and Davis's statement after receiving his
sentence that "[t]his is a big misunderstanding of how
everything went down."
In order to establish a claim of ineffective assistance of
counsel, the defendant must show that his trial counsel's
performance was deficient in some aspect of his
representation and that deficiency prejudiced his defense.
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct.
2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). Under Strickland, our
scrutiny of an attorney's representation must be highly
deferential, and we must indulge "a strong presumption
that counsel's conduct falls within the range of
reasonable professional assistance." Id. at
In proving ineffective assistance in the context of a guilty
plea, the defendant must demonstrate that there is a
reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, he
would not have pleaded guilty and he would have insisted on
going to trial. State v. Wright, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga
No. 104134, 2016-Ohio-7493, ¶ 5. In analyzing prejudice
in a plea, the court must consider all of the factors that
surround the decision to plead, including the benefits
associated with a plea and the possible punishments involved.
Id; see also State v. Strong, 11th Dist. Ashtabula
No. 2013-A-0003, 2013-Ohio-5189, ¶ 19.
Generally, a guilty plea waives all appealable errors that
may have occurred in the trial court, including a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, unless the errors
precluded the defendant from knowingly, intelligently, and
voluntarily entering a guilty plea. State v. Davis,
8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 103764, 2016-Ohio-7222, ¶ 23,
citing State v. Geraci, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga Nos.
101946 and 101947, 2015-Ohio-2699, ¶ 14. Therefore, a
guilty plea waives the right to claim ineffective assistance
of counsel "except to the extent that the defect or
ineffective assistance caused [the ...