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State v. Dean

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland

August 24, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
RALPH EDWARD DEAN Defendant-Appellant

         Criminal appeal from the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 81-CR-262

          JOSEPH SNYDER Assistant Prosecutor

          RALPH DEAN #A-169-464 Richland Correctional Institution

          Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. John W. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          GWIN, P.J. JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant Ralph Dean appeals the April 6, 2017 nunc pro tunc sentencing judgment entry of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas. Appellee is the State of Ohio.

         Facts & Procedural History

         {¶2} In 1981, appellant was indicted on one count of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping. Appellant was found guilty of both counts by a jury on August 4, 1982. On August 10, 1982, the trial court issued a judgment entry that sentenced appellant as follows: to an indeterminate term of life in prison with parole eligibility in twenty years on count one, aggravated murder, and 5-15 years on count two, kidnapping, to be served consecutive to count one.

         {¶3} Appellant filed a direct appeal of his conviction and argued: he was denied his right to a speedy trial; his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence; the trial court erred by failing to ensure the indictment was actually filed with the Clerk of Courts; his conviction was improper due to defects in the handling of the indictment; the trial court erred with respect to the jury instructions; the trial court erred by admitting testimony about a second alleged murder committed by appellant; the trial court erred by permitting testimony from an expert witness rendering opinions based upon facts not within the witnesses' personal knowledge; and ineffective assistance of counsel. In State v. Dean, 5th Dist. Richland No. CA-2090, 1983 WL 6385 (Feb. 18, 1983), this Court overruled appellant's assignments of error and affirmed his convictions.

         {¶4} On June 29, 1983, the trial court filed an amended judgment entry. The judgment entry stated the August 10, 1982 journal entry sentencing appellant is amended as follows, "as to Count 1 of the indictment, the phrase 'with parole eligibility in 20 years' is stricken and amended to read 'with parole eligibility in 15 years.'" Appellant did not appeal this entry.

         {¶5} Appellant filed a motion to issue a final appealable order on March 3, 2017. Appellant argued no final appealable order had been issued in either 1982 or 1983 that complies with State v. Baker, 119 Ohio St.3d 197, 893 N.E.2d 163 (2008). Appellee filed a memorandum in opposition. The trial court issued a nunc pro tunc sentencing judgment entry on April 6, 2017 to comply with Baker and added the following language, "defendant was found guilty by a jury on both counts in the indictment."

         {¶6} Appellant appeals the April 6, 2017 nunc pro tunc sentencing entry of the Richland County Court of Common Pleas and assigns the following as error:

         {¶7} "I. THE TRIAL COURT COMPLETELY DEPRIVED DEAN OF HIS RIGHT TO COUNSEL AT A CRITICAL STAGE OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION WHEN THE TRIAL COURT MODIFIED AND ALTERED APPELLANT'S SENTENCE IN THE APRIL 15, NUNC PRO TUNC ENTRY WITHOUT COUNSEL BEING PRESENT.

         {¶8} "II. DEAN WAS DENIED DUE PROCESS OF LAW IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, AND OHIO CRIMINAL RULE 43, WHEN THE TRIAL COURT MADE A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE ...


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