Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
Nos. CR-15-597560-A, CR-16-604654-A, and CR-16-609331-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Sarah R. Cofta
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Ashley B. Kilbane Assistant Prosecuting
BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, P.J., Boyle, J., and Laster Mays, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
T. GALLAGHER, P.J.
Defendant-appellant, Paul A. Wyatt, III, appeals his
convictions and raises the following sole assignment of
The trial court failed to comply with Crim.R. 11(C)(2), to
the prejudice of appellant, who did not knowingly,
intelligently, and voluntarily enter into his guilty plea for
We find no merit to the appeal and affirm the trial
Facts and Procedural History
Wyatt was charged with one count of grant theft, with a
one-year firearm specification, in Cuyahoga C.P. No.
CR-15-597560-A. The trial court granted Wyatt entry into a
pretrial diversion program, and he almost immediately
violated the community control sanctions related to the
program. The court gave Wyatt a second chance and allowed him
to start over in the diversion program. However, a month
later, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury returned a new
indictment in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-16-604654-A, charging
Wyatt with two counts of robbery, one count of theft, and one
count of kidnapping. Wyatt pleaded guilty to the theft charge
and to an amended count of aggravated theft. The other two
counts were nolled. Wyatt's convictions made him
ineligible for the diversion program, and the court now had
to sentence Wyatt in both Case Nos. C.P. CR-16-604654-A and
Before Wyatt was sentenced, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury
returned yet another indictment against Wyatt in Case No.
CR-16-609331-A. The new indictment charged Wyatt with one
count each of aggravated robbery, robbery, kidnapping, and
carrying a concealed weapon. The charges included one- and
three-year firearm specifications, and the carrying a
concealed weapon charge included a forfeiture specification.
Pursuant to a plea bargain, Wyatt agreed to plead guilty to
one count of aggravated robbery, with a one-year firearm
specification, and one count of carrying a concealed weapon,
with the forfeiture specification. The state agreed that the
remaining counts would be nolled.
A substitute judge rather than the assigned judge accepted
Wyatt's guilty pleas in Case No. CR-16-609331-A. During
the plea colloquy, Wyatt asked if he could return home to be
with his family until sentencing. The substitute judge
advised Wyatt that the assigned judge would have to make that
decision and asked Wyatt's trial counsel if he had any
"problems" with the substitute judge taking the
plea on behalf of the assigned judge. Counsel replied,
"No, your Honor. We thank you for doing so." (Tr.
74.) Wyatt subsequently pleaded guilty to all three charges.
The court sentenced Wyatt on all three cases at a single
sentencing hearing. In Case No. CR-15-597560-A, the court
sentenced Wyatt to 12 months in prison, to be served
concurrently with the sentences in the other two cases. In
Case No. CR-16-604654-A, the court sentenced Wyatt to 180
days in the county jail to be served concurrently with the
other two cases. And in Case No. CR-16-609331-A, the court
sentenced Wyatt to an aggregate five-year prison term on all
the charges, including the one-year firearm specification, to
be served concurrently with the sentences in the other two
cases. The court imposed costs and expenses for all three
cases and gave Wyatt 75 days of jail-time credit. Wyatt now
appeals his convictions in Case No. CR-16-609331-A.