Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning
Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County,
Ohio Case No. 2009 CR 1122
Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Paul J. Gains Mahoning County
Prosecutor Atty. Ralph M. Rivera Assistant Prosecuting
Defendant-Appellant: Lorenza Barnette, Pro se
Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Gene Donofrio Hon. Carol Ann Robb
Appellant Lorenza Barnette appeals a January 31, 2017
decision of the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to deny
his "Petition to Vacate Void Judgment the Court lacks
Jurisdiction pursuant to R.C. 29.53.23." Appellant
claims that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over him
because he was arrested without a warrant or probable cause.
He also argues that his indictment did not comply with
Crim.R. 6(F). For the reasons provided, Appellant's
petition is untimely and the judgment of the trial court is
and Procedural History
This appeal stems from a murder that occurred in August of
2009. On August 11, 2009, someone spotted a burning car near
the Mahoning River and called the fire department. The fire
department arrived and found two bodies inside the car. The
victims' arms, legs, and mouths had been bound by duct
tape. Additionally, each victim had a plastic bag covering
their head which was secured by duct tape. Investigators
tracked the materials used to bind the victims to a local
Dollar General and, after reviewing security footage,
determined that Appellant purchased those items.
On October 1, 2009, Appellant was indicted on: two counts of
aggravated murder in violation of R.C. 2903.01(A), (F) with
death specifications, two counts of aggravated murder in
violation of R.C. 2903.01(B), (F) with two death
specifications, two counts of kidnapping, felonies of the
first degree in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), (C), two
counts of aggravated robbery, felonies of the first degree in
violation of R.C. 2911.01(A), (B), (C), and one count of
arson, a felony of the fourth degree in violation of R.C.
A jury convicted Appellant on all counts except for the two
aggravated robberies. After conclusion of the mitigation
phase of sentencing, the jury recommended that Appellant be
sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of
parole. On October 26, 2011, the trial court did sentence
Appellant to life in prison without the possibility of parole
on the two R.C. 2903.01(A), (F) aggravated murder counts.
These merged with the two R.C. 2903.01(B), (F) aggravated
murder counts. The court also sentenced Appellant to ten
years of incarceration on each of the two kidnapping counts
and eighteen months for arson. All sentences were ordered to
Appellant filed a timely direct appeal and we affirmed his
convictions and sentence in State v. Barnette, 7th
Dist. No. 11 MA 196, 2014-Ohio-5673. Appellant then filed a
motion to reopen, which we denied in State v.
Barnette, 7th Dist. No. 11 MA 196, 2015-Ohio-1280. On
August 13, 2015, Appellant filed a "Motion for Leave to
File a Delayed Motion for New Trial Pursuant to Criminal Rule
33." The trial court denied Appellant's motion and
we affirmed the trial court's decision in State v.
Barnette, 7th Dist. No. 15 MA 0160, 2016-Ohio-3248.
On August 23, 2016, Appellant filed a "Motion for Leave
to File a Delayed Motion Court Lacks Jurisdiction" and a
"Motion for Leave to File a Delayed Motion to Squash
After-the-Fact Arrest Warrant." On August 29, 2016,
Appellant filed a second "Motion to Squash
After-the-Fact Arrest." The trial court denied all three
motions. On October 17, 2016, Appellant filed a "Writ of
Error Quo Warranto, " which was denied by the trial
court. On December 15, 2016, Appellant filed a "Petition
to Vacate A Void Judgment and Conviction Due to the Court Did
Not Have Jurisdiction of the Person of the Petitioner and
Errors in the Indictment Process Default Subject Matter
Jurisdiction Pursuant to R.C. 2953.21 (A)(1)(a) (A)(4) (D)
(G)." The trial court denied the motion. No appeals were
taken from any of these decisions. On January 24, 2017,
Appellant filed a "Petition to Vacate Void Judgment the
Court Lacks Jurisdiction Pursuant to R.C. 2953.23." The
trial court denied this motion and an appeal followed.
In order to successfully assert a postconviction petition,
"the petitioner must demonstrate a denial or
infringement of his rights in the proceedings resulting in
his conviction sufficient to render the conviction void or
voidable under the Ohio or United States Constitutions."
State v. Agee, 7th Dist. No. 14 MA 0094,
2016-Ohio-7183, ¶ 9, citing R.C. 2953.21(A)(1). The
petitioner is not automatically entitled to a hearing.
State v. Cole,2 Ohio St.3d 112, 113, 443 N.E.2d 169
(1982). Pursuant to R.C. 2953.21(C), the petitioner bears the
burden of demonstrating "substantive grounds for
relief" through the record or any supporting affidavits.
However, because a ...