Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Warren
APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No.
P. Fornshell, Warren County Prosecuting Attorney, Kirsten A.
Brandt, Lebanon, for plaintiff-appellee
D. Lawwill, defendant-appellant, pro se.
1} Appellant, Paul Lawwill, appeals from the
decision of the Warren County Court of Common Pleas denying
his untimely petition for postconviction relief. For the
reasons outlined below, we affirm.
and Procedural History
2} On November 27, 2006, the Warren County Grand
Jury returned a nine-count indictment charging Lawwill with
various felony drug offenses that included several charges of
aggravated possession of drugs and aggravated trafficking in
drugs, among others. The nine charges also included two major
drug offender specifications. Lawwill subsequently entered a
plea of not guilty to all charges and bond was set at $100,
3} On April 16, 2007, Lawwill entered into a plea
agreement, wherein he agreed to plead guilty to one count of
aggravated trafficking in drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.03(A)(2), a first-degree felony, with an agreed sentence
of five years in prison, three of which were mandatory, a
mandatory $10, 000 fine, and a six-month driver's license
suspension. The parties further agreed that Lawwill's
sentence would be served consecutively to any state of Ohio
prison sentence Lawwill was then currently serving. In
exchange for Lawwill's guilty plea, the remaining eight
counts and two accompanying major drug offender
specifications would be dismissed. The trial court accepted
Lawwill's guilty plea and imposed the agreed-upon
sentence. It is undisputed that Lawwill did not file a direct
appeal from his conviction or sentence.
4} Over nine years later, on August 22, 2016,
Lawwill filed a pro se motion with the trial court entitled
"Motion for Injunctive Relief to Correct Illegal
Sentence." As part of this motion, Lawwill alleged that
his conviction was unconstitutional and in violation of the
Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United
States Constitution as applicable to the states through the
Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this motion, Lawwill
alleged the following:
January 23, 2004, Warren County, Ohio charged the defendant
with Aggravated Possession in Drugs, §2925.03(A)(2).
However, Warren County dismissed the charges when the United
States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati,
indicted the defendant using the same information. To wit:
Conspiracy to Possess with intent to Distribute and
Distribution of Methamphetamine, Cocaine, Marijuana, Xanax,
Methadone, and Oxycodone, 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and
841(a)(1) & (b)(1)(A). The defendant pled guilty to the
charges and received 168 month sentence in federal prison.
Continuing, Lawwill claimed:
While serving the sentence, Butler County, Ohio, charged the
defendant with Aggravated Murder and Corrupt Activity and
informed him that if he did not plead out to these
charges that they would make sure that Warren County, Ohio,
would reinstate the original Aggravated Possession in Drugs
charges which they had previously dropped when the United
States District Court took over. Butler County threatened the
defendant with "at least fifty years in prison, a hard
way to go, and more, " if he didn't submit.
Concluding, Lawwill stated:
After repeated threats from the state, and false promises of
a five year concurrent sentence from the defense counsel, the
defendant relented and entered into what was an illegal
sentence. As a result of these negotiations, Warren
County convicted and sentenced the defendant to five years in
prison, consecutive to all other sentences, for the same