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State v. McKennelly

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

December 18, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CORNELL ARTIS McKENNELLY, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CR2016-08-1135

          Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, Lina N. Alkamhawi, Government Services Center, 315 High Street, 11th Floor, Hamilton, Ohio 45011, for plaintiff-appellee

          Michele Temmel, 6 South Second Street, Suite 305, Hamilton, Ohio 45011, for defendant-appellant

          OPINION

          HENDRICKSON, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Cornell Artis McKennelly, appeals from the sentence he received in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas after he pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a firearm specification and having weapons while under disability. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm his sentence.

         {¶ 2} On August 11, 2016, appellant was indicted on one count of murder in violation of R.C. 2903.02(B), with a firearm specification, and one count of having weapons while under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(3). The charges arose out of an incident that occurred at a bar in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio on July 24, 2016. It was alleged that appellant killed Kalif Goens after shooting him in the head with a firearm.

         {¶ 3} On January 24, 2017, following plea negotiations, appellant pled guilty to an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter in violation of R.C. 2903.04(A), a felony of the first degree, the accompanying firearm specification, and one count of having weapons while under disability, a felony of the third degree. The trial court accepted appellant's guilty plea after engaging in a Crim.R. 11(C) colloquy and hearing the following recitation of facts:

[PROSECUTOR]: As to * * * involuntary manslaughter, on or about July 24th, 2016, in the area of Double's Bar at 1555 Main Street, City of Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, approximately at 2:00 in the morning, Cornell McKennelly did cause the death of Kalif Goens as a proximate result of the Defendant committing or attempting to commit a felony offense.
In this particular case, Defendant did shoot a firearm that hit the victim in the head killing him. This offense is a felony of the first degree in violation of Revised Code * * * Section 2903.04.
And further, pursuant to [R.C] 2941.145, the Defendant did have a firearm on or about his person under his control while committing the offense and did display the firearm, brandish the firearm, indicated the offender possessed it or used it to facilitate the offense.
As to * * * having weapons while under a disability. On or about July 24th, 2016, in the area of Double's Bar at 1555 Main Street, City of Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio, approximately 2:00 in the morning, Cornell McKennelly did knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm knowing this Defendant has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sell [sic], administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.
The Defendant was convicted in Butler County Common Pleas Court, CR1997-050428 of trafficking cocaine and possession of cocaine. And [the prior count] involved again this Defendant shooting Kalif Goens in the head and killing him. This offense is a felony of the third degree in violation of Revised Code * * * Section 2923.13(A)(3).

         Thereafter, the trial court set the matter for sentencing and ordered that a presentence investigation report ("PSI") be prepared.

         {¶ 4} Appellant was sentenced on April 10, 2017. At the sentencing hearing, the court noted it had reviewed the PSI, victim impact statement, and letters written by the victim's family. The court then heard from appellant, defense counsel, and two of the victim's family members. Appellant expressed remorse for his actions and apologized to the victim's family, stating, "I just want to say that I'm sorry. Extend my condolences to his family, his friends, and to his mama, his dad. * * * I apologize for what happened that night. It went down the way it shouldn't went down, but I just apologize." Defense counsel noted that appellant had been "fully cooperative with law enforcement, " was "deeply remorseful and regretful of what happened" and "did not go [to the bar] looking for the events of the night to unfold the way they did." ...


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