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State v. Walker

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

September 8, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JEFFREY WALKER, Defendant-Appellant. STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JEFFREY WALKER, Defendant-Appellee.

         Criminal Appeals From: Hamilton County TRIAL NOS. B-0007550, B-0601085 Court of Common Pleas

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Paula E. Adams, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the State of Ohio,

          Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Carrie Wood, Assistant Public Defender, for Jeffrey Walker.

          OPINION

          Mock, Presiding Judge.

         Facts and Procedure

         1. The 1986 Case

         {¶1} On July 2, 1986, Jeffrey Walker pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, theft and gross sexual imposition ("GSI"). He was sentenced to one and a half years' incarceration on the GSI, to be served concurrently with the sentences imposed on the other offenses.

         {¶2} While Walker was still serving time on the 1986 case, the General Assembly enacted former R.C. Chapter 2950 ("Megan's Law"). See Am.Sub.H.B. No. 180, 146 Ohio Laws, Part II, 2560, enacted in 1996, amended in 2003 by Am.Sub.S.B. No. 5, 150 Ohio Laws, Part IV, 6556. Former R.C. 2950.04(A)(1)(a) provided that "[r]egardless of when the sexually oriented offense [had been] committed, an offender who [was] sentenced for the sexually oriented offense to a prison term, a term of imprisonment, or any other type of confinement and, on or after July 1, 1997, [was] released in any manner from the prison term, term of imprisonment, or confinement" was required to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. On July 23, 1997, Walker was brought back before the trial court for a sexual-offender-classification hearing and was adjudicated a sexual predator.

         {¶3} In 2005, the Ohio Supreme Court held in State v. Champion, 106 Ohio St.3d 120, 2005-Ohio-4098, 832 N.E.2d 718, that former R.C. 2950.04(A)(1)(a) required only those who were serving a prison term on or after July 1, 1997, for a sexually oriented offense to register as sex offenders. In 2016, Walker filed a pro se motion to vacate the registration order as void. Appointed counsel filed a subsequent "motion for an order that Mr. Walker has no duty to register." The motions were based on the ground that Walker had finished serving his sentence for GSI before July 1, 1997, and therefore, he had no duty to register as a sex offender. The trial court granted the motions, vacated the sexual-predator classification, and stated that Walker "has no duty to register in the State of Ohio because he was not serving a prison term for a sex offense on July 1, 1997"

         2. Appeal No. C-160764

         {¶4} On October 2, 2000, in the case numbered B-0007550, Walker was indicted for failing to provide periodic verification of his address. He pleaded guilty to and was convicted of attempted failure to provide periodic verification of his address. On July 19, 2016, after the trial court in the 1986 case had vacated the registration order, Walker filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and dismiss the indictment in the 2000 case. The motion was denied. Walker appealed the denial of his motion in the appeal numbered C-160764. He has raised one assignment of error, alleging that the trial court erred in overruling his motion to withdraw his guilty plea and dismiss the indictment, and arguing that his plea was not knowing, intelligent and voluntary and that he demonstrated a manifest injustice, because he had no duty to register.

         3. Appeal No. C-160863

         {¶5} On February 15, 2006, Walker was indicted for failing to provide periodic verification of his address and failing to provide notice of a change of address. He pleaded guilty to failing to verify and the failing-to-notify charge was dismissed. Following the trial court's order in the 1986 case vacating the registration order, Walker filed a motion to withdraw his plea and dismiss the indictment in the 2006 case. The trial court granted Walker's motion, and the state appealed in the appeal numbered C-160863. The state's sole assignment of error alleges that the trial court erred in granting ...


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