Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Belmont
Appeal from Court of Common Pleas of Belmont County, Ohio
Case No. 15 CR 263
Defendant-Appellant Attorney John Jurco
Gene Donofrio Hon. Mary DeGenaro Hon. Carol Ann Robb
Defendant-appellant, Danny Lee Wise, appeals from a Belmont
County Common Pleas Court judgment convicting him of inducing
panic, following his guilty plea, and the sentence that
On November 4, 2015, during school hours, an unidentified
male called the Bridgeport Elementary School and made a
threat that there was a bomb in the building. The school was
evacuated. No bomb was found. Police later arrested appellant
for the crime.
On December 3, 2015, a Belmont County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on one count of inducing panic, a second-degree
felony in violation of R.C. 2917.31(A)(1)(C)(5). When the
public place involved in inducing panic is a school, the
offense is a second-degree felony. Appellant initially
entered a not guilty plea.
Appellant later changed his plea to guilty to the crime
charged. In exchange for his plea, plaintiff-appellee, the
State of Ohio, agreed to recommend a less-than-maximum
sentence. The trial court conducted a change-of-plea colloquy
with appellant where it advised him of the rights he was
giving up and advised him that it was not bound to follow any
sentencing recommendations. Appellant indicated that he
understood these things. The court accepted appellant's
guilty plea, ordered a presentence investigation and a victim
impact statement, and scheduled the matter for sentencing.
Subsequently, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. The
court sentenced appellant to a maximum sentence of eight
years in prison. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal on
February 23, 2016.
Appellant now raises a single assignment of error.
Appellant's assignment of error states:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN SENTENCING THE APPELLANT TO THE
Appellant argues the trial court should not have sentenced
him to the maximum sentence. He claims this sentence is
contrary to law. First, he asserts his offense was
non-violent, no physical harm was caused, no weapons were
involved, and there was no actual victim. Second, he points
out that he pleaded guilty, thereby saving the county the
expense of a trial. Third, appellant notes that both the
prosecutor and defense counsel recommended a
less-than-maximum sentence. Fourth, appellant points out that
he expressed his remorse. Fifth, he contends that the
mitigating factors outweigh any aggravating factors. Sixth,
he asserts he did not commit the worst form of the offense.
Finally, appellant asserts the trial court held against him
the fact that he was charged with six prior charges of
domestic violence and one charge of violation of a protective
order, yet these charges were all dismissed.
When reviewing a felony sentence, an appellate court must
uphold the sentence unless the evidence clearly and
convincingly does not support the trial court's findings
under the applicable sentencing statutes or the sentence is
otherwise contrary to law. ...