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State v. Wyatt

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

October 26, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
PAUL A. WYATT, III DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal 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 Attorney

          BEFORE: E.T. Gallagher, P.J., Boyle, J., and Laster Mays, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Paul A. Wyatt, III, appeals his convictions and raises the following sole assignment of error:

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 aggravated robbery.

         {¶2} We find no merit to the appeal and affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶3} 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 CR-15-597560-A.

         {¶4} 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.

         {¶5} 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.

         {¶6} 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.

         II. ...


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