Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
Nos. CR-06-479730-A and CR-06-481212-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Christopher M. Kelley
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Janna R. Steinruck Assistant County
BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., Boyle, J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
McCORMACK, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant Ramadii Parker appeals the imposition of
consecutive sentences under R.C. 2921.331(D). For the reasons
that follow, we reverse and remand for resentencing.
and Substantive History
This case is a consolidated appeal involving two separate
criminal cases: Cuyahoga C.P. Nos. CR-06-479730-A and
Case No. CR-06-479730-A stems from an incident that occurred
on January 30, 2006. Police observed a hand-to-hand
transaction between an unidentified man standing on a street
corner and Parker, who was seated inside a truck. When
officers, on foot and in a police vehicle, approached the
men, Parker drove towards the officers at a high rate of
speed in an attempt to flee the scene. Officers in a police
vehicle began an unsuccessful pursuit of Parker that was
ultimately terminated at East 125th and Carlyon.
On April 18, 2006, a grand jury indicted Parker with a
two-count indictment in CR-06-479730-A: Count 1, failure to
comply with order or signal of police, in violation of R.C.
2921.331 with a furthermore clause, a felony of the third
degree; and Count 2, felonious assault, in violation of R.C.
2903.11(A)(1) with a furthermore clause, a felony of the
On May 8, 2006, Parker entered a plea of not guilty on both
Case No. CR-06-481212-A stems from an incident that occurred
on May 16, 2006. Cleveland police stopped Parker for not
having a rear-view mirror. Upon a search of his vehicle,
police discovered 38 grams of cocaine and arrested Parker.
On May 26, 2006, a grand jury indicted Parker with a
three-count indictment in CR-06-481212-A: Count 1, possession
of drugs, in violation of R.C. 2925.11, a felony of the third
degree; Count 2, drug trafficking, in violation of R.C.
2925.03, a felony of the first degree; and Count 3,
possessing criminal tools, in violation of R.C. 2923.24, a
felony of the fifth degree.
On June 12, 2006, Parker entered a plea of not guilty to all
three counts in the indictment.
Parker's trial in CR-06-479730-A was set for June 26,
2006. Trial was reset by the court once and continued at
Parker's request once. On August 3, 2006, Parker appeared
in court and waived his right to a speedy trial. At the
state's request, trial was continued to August 16, 2006.
Parker failed to appear for trial on August 16, and a capias
Parker was arrested on September 7, 2016.
On November 3, 2016, Parker appeared with counsel before the
trial court and entered a change of plea in both cases.
In CR-06-479730-A, Parker withdrew his not guilty plea and
entered a guilty plea to: Count 1, failure to comply with
order or signal of police, in violation of R.C. 2921.331; and
an amended Count 2, attempted felonious assault, in violation
of R.C. 2903.02/2903.11(A)(1), a felony of the third degree.
In CR-06-481212-A, Parker withdrew his not guilty plea and
entered a plea of guilty to an amended Count 2, drug
trafficking, in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), a felony of
the second degree, with forfeiture specifications pursuant to
After engaging Parker in a plea colloquy, the trial court
accepted his guilty pleas.
On November 30, 2016, the trial court held a sentencing
hearing and heard from Parker, Parker's counsel, and the
prosecutor. At sentencing, the court initially stated it was
sentencing Parker to a mandatory two-year prison term and a
mandatory fine of $7, 500 in CR-06-481212-A for drug
trafficking. It then stated that the state satisfied the
requirements of R.C. 2921.331(B), that the defendant's
conduct in his failure to comply was more serious than
conduct normally constituting that offense, and that it was
sentencing Parker to one year for failure to comply, along
with a life suspension of his driver's license. The
license suspension was statutorily mandated in R.C.
2921.331(E) because this was Parker's second conviction
for failure to comply. Finally, the trial court stated that
it was sentencing Parker to nine months in prison for amended
Count 2, attempted felonious assault, to run consecutive to
the one year for failure to comply.
The trial court explained this consecutive sentence by
pointing to the requirements of R.C. 2921.331(D). The total
sentence based on the foregoing was 21 months. The trial
court stated that it was electing to have the sentences for
CR-06-479730-A and CR-06-481212-A run concurrently, telling
Parker, "this is your break that I'm giving
After announcing this sentence, the trial court asked if
there were any objections to the sentence, specifically with
respect to running the sentences from each case concurrently.
The state responded that the plain language of R.C.
2921.331(D) requires any prison sentence for failure to
comply be served consecutively to any other prison term or
mandatory prison term imposed. Therefore, according to the
state, Parker would be required to serve the sentences for
each case consecutively.
Parker's counsel responded that R.C. 2921.331(D) was
silent as to whether a prison term for failure to comply must
be served consecutive to a prison term in a separate case.
Therefore, according to Parker's trial counsel, the trial
court had the statutory authority and discretion to run the
two-year mandatory sentence in CR-06-481212-A concurrent with
his nine-month sentence for attempted felonious assault in
CR-06-479730-A, provided that his one-year sentence for
failure to comply was ordered to be served consecutively.
Ultimately, the trial court was persuaded by the state's
interpretation of R.C. 2921.331(D) and, in "an abundance
of caution, " ordered that Parker's sentence on all
three charges be served ...