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State v. Mitchell

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull

December 18, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT MITCHELL, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015 CR 00518.

          Dennis Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, and Ashleigh Musick, Assistant Prosecutor, Administration Building, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Robert Mitchell, pro se, Trumbull Correctional Institution, P.O. (Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          DIANE V. GRENDELL, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Robert Mitchell, appeals from the judgment of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, denying his Motion to Correct a Sentence. The issue to be determined by this court is whether an offender is barred by res judicata from raising errors regarding the imposition of consecutive sentences in postconviction proceedings. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the lower court.

         {¶2} On July 1, 2015, Mitchell was indicted by the Trumbull County Grand Jury on Possession of Heroin, a felony of the fifth degree, in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A) and (C)(6)(a).

         {¶3} A Finding on Guilty Plea to the Indictment was filed on October 27, 2015. Pursuant to this document, Mitchell agreed to enter a plea to the charge as contained in the Indictment. It also provided that "[t]he underlying agreement upon which this plea is based is as follows: Defendant waives a PSI. The State and Defendant agree to a jointly recommended prison sentence of 6 months, said sentence to be served consecutively to the prison sentence the Defendant is currently serving, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Case No. CR-09-526685-A."

         {¶4} On November 2, 2015, an Entry of Sentence was filed, in which the court noted that it considered the record, as well as the purposes and principles of felony sentencing in R.C. 2929.11 and the factors in R.C. 2929.12. It found that a consecutive sentence was "necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender; [and] that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public." The court sentenced Mitchell to a term of six months in prison, to run consecutively with his prison term in the aforementioned Cuyahoga case. Mitchell did not appeal.

         {¶5} On April 28, 2017, Mitchell filed a Motion to Correct a Sentence that is Contrary to Law, arguing that the trial court failed to make necessary consecutive sentencing findings.

         {¶6} The trial court issued a Judgment Entry on May 10, 2017, finding that it had made consecutive sentencing findings.

         {¶7} Mitchell timely appeals and raises the following assignments of error:

         {¶8} "[1.] The trial court erred [in] fail[ing] to make the required findings under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) prior to imposing consecutive sentences on Appellant, in violation of his Due Process protections under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section [] 10 of the Ohio Constitution.

         {¶9} "[2.] The trial court erred in denying Appellant's Motion to Correct a Sentence that is Contrary to Law, in violation of his Due Process protections under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section [] 10 of the Ohio Constitution."

         {¶10} Consideration of Mitchell's argument on appeal is barred by his failure to file a direct appeal from the November 2, 2015 ...


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