Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Kimberly K. Yoder Kimberly K. Yoder
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Amy Venesile Assistant Prosecuting
BEFORE: Keough, A.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and Stewart, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, A.J.
Defendant-appellant, Carlton Devon Heard ("Heard"),
appeals from the trial court's judgment, rendered after
his no contest plea, finding him guilty of attempted murder,
felonious assault, and aggravated robbery, and sentencing him
to 14 years in prison. We reverse and remand, with
instructions that the administrative judge assign this case
to a different judge.
In December 2015, Heard was indicted in Case No.
CR-15-601703-A for attempted murder in violation of R.C.
2903.02(A), felonious assault in violation of R.C.
2903.11(A)(1), aggravated robbery in violation of R.C.
2911.01(A)(1), robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(1),
carrying concealed weapons in violation of R.C.
2923.12(A)(2), and having weapons while under disability in
violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2). With the exception of the
carrying concealed weapons charge, all of the counts carried
firearm specifications. When he was charged, Heard was on
probation in Case No. CR-14-587295 for carrying concealed
weapons in violation of R.C. 2923.12(A)(2).
Discovery commenced and the trial court held numerous
pretrials. The case was set for trial three times; the trial
date was continued once at the state's request and twice
at Heard's request.
On August 15, 2016, when the parties appeared for trial,
defense counsel requested another continuance, informing the
court that Heard had "denied responsibility and claimed
his innocence to this since the time I met him, " and
that only half an hour earlier, had told counsel he had been
"covering up for the real shooter" and then given
counsel the shooter's name. Counsel said he had given the
name to the prosecutor, and was asking the court for a
continuance to investigate this alternative theory of the
The state objected to defense counsel's request, arguing
that the case had been set for trial three times, and a delay
in trial might allow the state's witnesses to be
intimidated. The judge noted that Heard had a prior
The judge then told Heard that it did not make sense that he
would wait so long to offer the name of the real shooter, and
that the new information appeared to be just a ploy to get
another continuance. The judge told Heard that "if we
don't plead the case, we're going to trial right
The judge stated that although Heard had not authorized his
lawyer to request a plea bargain, he (the judge) had
determined that even if the prosecutor sought authorization
for a plea deal, the court would reject what the state would
likely offer because "I think if you plead out to a case
like this, you need to do somewhere between 13 and 15 years
in the state penal institution."
The judge then told Heard that if he went to trial and was
convicted, he would get "at least double, perhaps triple
or more time, because you're going to be convicted of an
additional seven counts, " and the judge would run the
The judge then offered ...