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State v. Scoles

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

March 26, 2018

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
STEVEN SCOLES Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal appeal from the Licking County Municipal Court, Case No. 16-CRB-919

          For Plaintiff-Appellee DOUGLAS E. SASSEN

          For Defendant-Appellant TODD BARSTOW

          Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J.

          OPINION

          Gwin, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Steven Scoles ["Scoles"] appeals his conviction for one count of domestic violence in the Licking County Municipal Court.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} On May 10, 2016, a Complaint was filed charging Scoles with one count of Domestic Violence, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

         {¶3} On June 16, 2016, Scoles requested and was granted a court appointed attorney to represent him. Scoles filed a written demand for a jury trial on June 17, 2016. A jury trial was scheduled for August 4, 2016. By Judgment Entry filed August 3, 2016, the trial court continued the jury trial so that Scoles could apply for the Licking County Municipal Court's Pre-trial Diversion program.

         {¶4} On August 25, 2016, Scoles withdrew his previously entered plea and applied for the prosecutor's diversion program. By Judgment Entry filed August 29, 2016, the trial court granted a continuance of Scoles' arraignment so Scoles could apply for the diversion program. The entry ordered Scoles to appear for arraignment October 25, 2016, "unless notified by the Court's Probation Department that the Defendant has been accepted into the Diversion Program."

         {¶5} By Judgment Entry filed October 13, 2016, Scoles was accepted into the Licking County Municipal Court's Pre-trial Diversion program. This judgment entry stated the matter was before the trial court on Scoles' application for diversion. The entry does not state that a hearing was held in open court. Neither Scoles nor his attorney's signatures appear on the entry. No hearing date or transcript from October 13, 2016 has been located in the record.

          {¶6} On March 14, 2017, the Licking County Municipal Court Probation Department filed a "Memorandum Termination of Diversion" with the trial court, alleging that Scoles violated the terms and conditions of the Diversion program. By Judgment Entry filed the same day, Scoles' case was returned to the active docket and Scoles was ordered to appear for arraignment on March 29, 2017.

         {¶7} Scoles' appointed counsel withdrew on March 16, 2017, and new counsel was appointed by the trial court on March 22, 2017. Scoles' new trial counsel filed a request for discovery, request for bill of particulars, and request for evidence in chief, a request for notice of intent by the state to use evidence, and a written demand for a jury trial on March 24, 2017.

         {¶8} On March 29, 2017, a Judgment Entry was filed noting that Scoles failed to appear for arraignment. On March 31, 2017, the state filed a response to Scoles' discovery request.

         {¶9} On April 25, 2017, Scoles appeared for arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty. By "Court Order" dated May 8, 2017, Scoles' case was scheduled for a jury trial on May 18, 2017. By Judgment Entry filed May 23, 2017, the Court on its own motion continued Scoles' jury trial to June 8, 2017 because Scoles had reasserted his right to a jury trial. The trial court set a pretrial conference to consider if Scoles' entry into the Diversion Program constituted a guilty plea and waiver of a jury trial. On June 8, 2017, the trial court held a hearing and overruled Scoles' request for a jury trial. The Court ruled that pursuant to the Diversion Agreement executed by Scoles, the trial court was to determine the guilt of innocence of Scoles if he were terminated from the program. At the conclusion of the hearing, which included a recitation of the facts by the prosecutor and a review of the file by the court, a guilty verdict was entered and the court proceeded with sentencing.

         {¶10} By Judgment Entry filed June 17, 2017, the trial court concluded that by entering the Diversion Program, Scoles had entered a plea of guilty and had waived his right to a jury trial. The trial court found that Scoles "knowingly, intentionally and voluntarily bargained away his right to a contested hearing or trial in the case at bar."

         Assignments ...


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