Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Barfield

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

October 20, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIE BARFIELD, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Trial No. B-1602867

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Alex Scott Havlin, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee,

          Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, Christine Y. Jones, Director Public Defender Appellate Division, and Joshua A. Thompson, Assistant Public Defender, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          Miller, Judge.

         {¶1} Willie Barfield asks this court to overrule our recent decision in State v. Carnes, 2016-Ohio-8019, 75 N.E.3d 774 (1st Dist), appeal accepted, 2017-Ohio-7567, 2017 WL 4037672, arguing that we misinterpreted State v. Hand, 149 Ohio St.3d 94, 2016-Ohio-5504, 73 N.E.3d 448, which he claims requires reversal of the trial court's judgment denying his post-sentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea. His argument is not well taken. Lewis v. United States, 445 U.S. 55, 100 S.Ct. 915, 63 L.Ed.2d 198 (1980), and its progeny expressly permit something less than a valid criminal conviction to be an underlying disability in a weapon-possession offense.

         {¶2} Barfield pleaded guilty to having a weapon while under a disability, in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2). He admitted to two disabilities-juvenile adjudications for the commission of offenses that would have constituted robbery and aggravated robbery had Barfield been an adult. The trial court accepted Barfield's plea, and imposed a 12-month sentence.

         {¶3} Barfield later moved to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that Hand, which was decided six days before his plea, barred the use of his juvenile adjudications to establish the disability element of his conviction. Barfield contended that he was unaware of Hand at the time of his plea, and therefore his plea had not been voluntarily made. His motion was overruled.

         {¶4} In his sole assignment of error, Barfield contends that the trial court incorrectly concluded that Hand did not apply. Under Crim.R. 32.1, a defendant seeking to withdraw a guilty plea post-sentence must demonstrate that his motion should be granted to correct a "manifest injustice." State v. Smith 49 Ohio St.2d 261, 361 N.E.2d 1324 (1977), paragraph one of the syllabus. We review the trial court's judgment for an abuse of discretion. Id. at paragraph two of the syllabus. Obviously, a manifest justice would not result if Barfield is incorrect regarding Hand.

         Carnes is Consistent with Hand and Apprendi

         {¶5} In relevant part, this court held in Carnes that Hand did not bar the use of a prior juvenile adjudication to prove the disability element of a weapon-possession charge under R.C. 2923.13. Carnes, 2016-Ohio-8019, 75 N.E.3d 774, at ¶ 15. We more fully explain our holding here. As discussed below, Hand does not control this decision. Lewis does.

         {¶6} Hand held that R.C. 2901.08(A) violated the due process clauses of the Ohio and United States Constitutions because it was "fundamentally unfair" to treat a juvenile adjudication as a previous conviction that enhances either the degree of, or the sentence for, a subsequent offense committed as an adult. Hand, 149 Ohio St.3d 94, 2016-Ohio-5504, 73 N.E.3d 448, at paragraph one of the syllabus. The Court also held that using a juvenile adjudication to increase a sentence beyond a statutory maximum or mandatory minimum violated due process under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000). Id. at paragraph two of the syllabus. In its Apprendi analysis, Hand focused on the fact that there is no right to a jury trial in the juvenile justice system, and cited United States v. Tighe, 266 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir.2001) for the conclusion that the "prior conviction" exception to Apprendi " 'must be limited to prior convictions that were themselves obtained through proceedings that included the right to a jury trial * * * .' " Hand at ¶ 28, citing Tighe at 1194.

         {¶7} Barfield argues that because a prior adjudication is not reliable enough to enhance a sentence or the degree of an offense, it is not reliable enough to prove a disability element in R.C. 2923.13. We do not read Hand so expansively. Hand concerned the due process implications of a statute that (1) equated a juvenile adjudication with an adult conviction, and (2) treated the adjudication as a conviction to enhance a sentence. The statute in this case does not treat an adjudication as an adult conviction. The juvenile adjudication is a disability in its own right. Further, the disability element in the statute is not a penalty-enhancing element. It is an element of the crime. Consequently, the due process concerns raised in Hand do not exist in this case. See State v. McComb, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 26884, 2017-Ohio-4010, ¶ 26 (holding that "Hand does not ban the use of a prior juvenile adjudication as an element of an offense; rather, Hand bans the use of a juvenile adjudication to enhance a penalty by treating the adjudication as an adult conviction."); State v. Hudson, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 15 MA 0134, 2017-Ohio-645, ¶ 51.

         {¶8} The key to our analysis here is that only the existence of a disability- and not its reliability-is at issue in the statute. See Carnes, 2016-Ohio-8019, 75 N.E.3d 774, at ¶ 13, citing Lewis, 445 U.S. at 66, 100 S.Ct. 915, 63 L.Ed.2d 198. Lewis, unlike Apprendi and Hand, speaks to disabilities that can be an element of a weapon-possession crime. It controls the issue presented in this case.

         {¶9} In Lewis, the United States Supreme Court held that an invalid felony conviction could be a disability to prohibit the possession of a firearm without running afoul of the United States Constitution. Lewis at 66-67. The Court reasoned that "the federal gun laws * * * focus not on reliability, but on the mere fact of conviction, or even indictment, in order to keep firearms away from potentially dangerous persons." Id. at 67. Federal circuit courts have applied Lewis to hold that a constitutionally-infirm felony conviction can be used to impose a firearm disability post-Apprendi. See United States v. Marks,379 F.3d 1114, 1117 (9th Cir.2004) (collecting the cases). Significantly, in Marks the Ninth Circuit applied Lewis after it had decided Tighe. See also State v. Boyer, 2d Dist. Clark No. 2016-CA-63, 2017-Ohio-4199, ΒΆ 13 (holding that, for purposes of establishing a disability "whether a defendant actually committed an offense as ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.