Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Robbins

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

November 9, 2017

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
ROBERT D. ROBBINS Defendant-Appellant

         Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court T.C. NO. 15CR2473

          ANDREW T. FRENCH, Atty. Reg. No. 0069384, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 301 W. Third Street, 5th Floor, Dayton, Ohio 45422 Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

          JENNIFER S. GETTY, Atty. Reg. No. 0074317, 7501 Paragon Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459 Attorney for Defendant-Appellant

          OPINION

          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Robert D. Robbins was convicted after a bench trial in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas of two counts of aggravated assault, an offense of inferior degree to felonious assault. The trial court merged the two counts and sentenced Robbins to 18 months in prison. Robbins appeals, alleging that he did not properly waive his right to a jury trial. For the following reasons, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On August 6, 2015, Robbins was involved in an altercation with fifteen-year-old S.M. in the parking lot of the apartment complex where S.M. lived. The altercation began as a fistfight, but escalated after S.M.'s younger brother retrieved an aluminum baseball bat from his home and threatened to hit Robbins with it. (The evidence is inconsistent as to whether S.M.'s brother actually hit Robbins with the bat.) Robbins pulled out the knife that he routinely carried and punched S.M. in the face while holding the knife. The knife sliced the left side of S.M.'s throat, causing a deep gash. S.M. punched Robbins several times more, and Robbins ran away. S.M. grabbed the bat from his brother and began to chase Robbins, but did not catch him. S.M. went to the complex's office, and an employee contacted the police.

         {¶ 3} On September 11, 2015, Robbins was indicted on two counts of felonious assault (deadly weapon and serious physical harm, respectively) arising out of the August 6 incident. Robbins later filed a motion to suppress, challenging whether there was probable cause for his arrest and seeking to suppress his statements to the police. The trial court overruled his motion. A jury trial was later scheduled for March 14, 2016.

         {¶ 4} On the morning of March 14, 2016, Robbins indicated that he wished to withdraw his jury demand and to proceed with a bench trial. With the jury waiting in the trial judge's courtroom, the trial judge and the parties went into another courtroom, where the trial judge questioned Robbins about his desire to waive a jury trial, including whether Robbins had discussed the waiver and waiver form with his attorney. Robbins reiterated that he wanted to waive a jury trial, and the trial court concluded that Robbins, in open court, had knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to be tried by the judge. Robbins signed a "waiver of jury" form, again indicating that he was voluntarily waiving and relinquishing his constitutional right to a jury trial and that he agreed to be tried by a judge. The form was signed by Robbins's attorney and the trial judge, and filed with the clerk of courts at 11:56 a.m. the same day.

         {¶ 5} A bench trial began at 1:34 p.m. on March 14. At the beginning of the trial, the trial court stated, "This morning Mr. Robbins waived his right to a jury trial. That entry was filed. Thereafter, the jury was discharged. So we're going to proceed this afternoon with the bench trial."

         {¶ 6} During the afternoon of March 14 and on March 15, the State presented a total of seven witnesses; Robbins did not present any witnesses, but asked the court to find him guilty of aggravated assault, an inferior offense of felonious assault. The trial court orally found Robbins guilty of two counts of aggravated assault, and on March 18, the court filed written verdicts consistent with its oral verdicts. After a presentence investigation, the court merged the two offenses and sentenced Robbins to 18 months in prison.

         {¶ 7} Robbins's original appellate counsel filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), indicating that he found no non-frivolous issues for appeal. At that time, the record did not include a transcript of the March 14 hearing during which Robbins waived his right to a jury trial, and there was no indication that such a hearing had been held. Thus, upon an initial review of the record, we found a non-frivolous issue related to Robbins's waiver of his right to a jury trial. We set aside the Anders brief and appointed new appellate counsel to act as Robbins's advocate on appeal. We instructed that new counsel should review the entire record and raise any issues that counsel believed had arguable merit.

         {¶ 8} Robbins, with new counsel, now raises one assignment of error, namely, that his jury waiver "was not properly executed and as such, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to conduct a bench trial." In response to Robbins's assignment of error, the State moved to supplement the record with a transcript of the March 14 hearing during which Robbins waived his right to a jury trial. After the record was supplemented, the State filed its appellate brief, arguing that the jury waiver was valid. Robbins has not filed a reply brief.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.