Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Jonathan N. Garver
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Blaise D. Thomas Assistant County
BEFORE: Boyle, J., Keough, A.J., and Blackmon, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. BOYLE, J.
Defendant-appellant, Robert Hicks, appeals from the trial
court's judgment regarding court costs. He raises two
assignments of error for our review:
1. The trial court abused its discretion by imposing court
costs on appellant who was found to be indigent and sentenced
to a 17-year term of imprisonment, without making a
determination, supported by the record, that he has or will
have the ability to pay costs.
2. The trial court committed prejudicial error by ordering
appellant to do community work service after he serves the
17-year term of imprisonment (which includes a mandatory
prison term) imposed by the trial court.
Finding no merit to his appeal, we affirm.
Procedural History and Factual Background
In August 2015, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Hicks
on 11 counts: two counts of aggravated murder and aggravated
robbery, one count of murder, kidnapping, felonious assault,
and carrying a concealed weapon, and three counts of having a
weapon while under disability. Many of the counts carried
one- and three-year firearm specifications. Hicks pleaded not
guilty to all charges.
In June 2016, Hicks withdrew his former plea of not guilty
and pleaded guilty to an amended indictment of involuntary
manslaughter in violation of R.C. 2903.04, a first-degree
felony, with a three-year firearm specification, and
attempted aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and
2911.01(A)(3), a second-degree felony.
At the sentencing hearing, defense counsel spoke on behalf of
Hicks. Defense counsel requested the court to waive costs
because Hicks was indigent.
The trial court sentenced Hicks to three years in prison for
the firearm specification and ordered that it be served prior
to and consecutive to 11 years for involuntary manslaughter.
The trial court further sentenced Hicks to two years for
aggravated robbery and ordered that it be served consecutive
to the prison term for involuntary manslaughter, for an
aggregate sentence of 16 years in prison. At the same
hearing, the trial court also sentenced Hicks to 12 months
each for three separate probation violations and ordered that
they be served concurrent to each other but consecutive to
the sentence imposed in this case, for a total of 17 years in
prison. Further, the trial court notified Hicks that he would
be subject to a mandatory term of five years of postrelease
With respect to court costs, the trial court stated the
following at the hearing:
You're responsible for your court costs and, therefore,
you may be required to do community work service. So although
you're indigent, I think the community work service is a
good thing for you to do ...