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State v. Shannon

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull

December 29, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MARQUES JAMES SHANNON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2015 CR 000863. Judgment: Affirmed.

          Dennis Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, Ashleigh Musick, Assistant Prosecutor, and Gabriel M. Wildman, Assistant Prosecutor, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Desirae D. DiPiero Chieffo, (For Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          DIANE V. GRENDELL, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Marques James Shannon, appeals from the judgment of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, resentencing him and denying his Motion to Withdraw Plea. The issue before this court is whether an appeal is wholly frivolous where a defendant claims his guilty plea was involuntary when he had expressed concerns about entering the plea and the court advised him of his rights and options surrounding entry of that plea. For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the court below.

         {¶2} On November 24, 2015, Shannon was indicted by the Trumbull County Grand Jury for the following: Felonious Assault (Count One), a felony of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(2) and (D)(1)(a), with a pregnant victim specification pursuant to R.C. 2941.1423; two counts of Domestic Violence (Counts Two and Three), felonies of the third degree, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A) and (D)(4); Domestic Violence (Count Four), a felony of the fifth degree, in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A) and (D)(5); and Resisting Arrest (Count Five), a misdemeanor of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2921.33(A) and (D).

         {¶3} On March 3, 2016, a Finding on Guilty Plea to the Amended-Indictment was filed. At the plea hearing, the State moved to dismiss the pregnant victim specification, as well as Count Three, in exchange for a plea of guilty to the remaining counts and an agreed sentence of three years in prison. The court reviewed the rights Shannon would be waiving by pleading guilty, which Shannon indicated he understood. When asked if he was satisfied with counsel, Shannon stated "not fully, " citing arguments with counsel.

         {¶4} The following exchange took place:

Shannon: I don't want to go to trial because [counsel] said it was a 90 percent chance he'd lose. So I'm forced to take three years. I got four children to get out here to. I'm getting ready to go to school.
The Court: If you don't want to take this plea, we'll go to trial on Monday.
Shannon: I've got to take three years. I don't want to go to trial and get up to 15 years. That's what I'm facing, right? That's what you said?
The Court: I think it's 14.
Shannon: 14. I don't want to do that.

         {¶5} The court indicated that it wanted Shannon to understand his rights and that no one was threatening him. Shannon said, "I don't want to go to trial" and stated he understood his counsel's advice. When asked if he was threatened or promised anything to enter the plea, he responded "No. Other than the threat of 14 years." The trial court explained: "That's hanging out there, though, because that's the maximum sentence." The court then reviewed the elements of the crimes and the potential maximum penalties.

         {¶6} Shannon indicated that he voluntarily signed the plea agreement, explaining "I had to sign it" and "take the three years." The court found Shannon guilty of Counts One, Two, Four, and Five, the presentence investigation was waived, and the matter proceeded to sentencing. When asked if he wanted to speak prior to the entry of his sentence, Shannon indicated "I'm innocent." The court twice asked if he would like to withdraw his plea and go to trial, to which Shannon responded negatively, reiterating counsel's advice that he would lose at trial. The court sentenced him to three years in prison on Count One, three years for Count Two, one year for Count Four, and 60 days for Count Five, all to run concurrent for a three-year sentence. This verdict was memorialized in a March 3, 2016 Entry on Sentence. A subsequent untimely request to appeal that judgment was denied by this court on June 27, 2016. State v. Shannon, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2016-T-0039, 2016-Ohio-4602.

         {¶7} On August 11, 2016, Shannon filed a Motion to Withdraw Plea Pursuant to Criminal Rule 32.1, in which he argued various grounds to withdraw his plea ...


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