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State v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

April 25, 2018



          APPEARANCES: THOMAS M. DICAUDO and BENJAMIN R. SORBER, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and RICHARD S. KASAY, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.


          SCHAFER, Presiding Judge.

         {¶1} Appellant, Terrance Fields, appeals from the May 16, 2017 journal entry from the Summit County Court of Common Pleas denying his "motion to correct sentencing." This Court affirms.


         {¶2} Fields was indicted on several charges stemming from his conduct on November 27, 2013, and initially entered a plea of not guilty. On March 4, 2014, pursuant to a negotiated plea, Fields retracted his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to the following charges in the indictment: amended count one, aggravated assault pursuant to R.C. 2903.12, a felony of the fourth degree; count two, having weapons while under disability pursuant to R.C. 2923.13(A)(3), a felony of the third degree; count three, carrying concealed weapons pursuant to R.C. 2923.12(A)(1)/(2), a felony of the fourth degree; count four, domestic violence pursuant to R.C. 2919.25(A), a felony of the fourth degree. Pursuant to the plea agreement and the State's recommendation, the trial court dismissed the remaining charges in the indictment.

         {¶3} Following a presentence investigation, the trial court held a sentencing hearing on April 9, 2014. At the hearing, the State asked the court to impose a sentence of twelve months in prison for count one-the aggravated assault-and indicated that the aggravated assault charge was for Fields' "firing the gun at [the victim] outside of house." Regarding count two, the State asked the trial court to impose a two-year prison term, and for count three, the State requested that Fields be sentenced to a year in prison. As to count four, the State asked the court to sentence Fields to twelve months in prison, and noted that the domestic violence charge was based on Fields's conduct in "grabbing [the victim], putting the gun to her head, and then lighting her hair on fire." The State requested that these sentences run consecutively, so that Fields receive a total prison term of five years. Fields argued that some form of programming would be a more appropriate sanction than prison.

         {¶4} The trial court sentenced Fields to twelve months imprisonment on count one, two years imprisonment on count two, one year imprisonment on count three, and twelve months imprisonment on count four. The trial court ordered that the sentences in this case be served consecutively, for a total sentence of five years. The sentence was journalized in the trial court's April 18, 2014 entry. Fields did not appeal his sentence.

         {¶5} On February 27, 2017, Fields filed a motion to correct sentencing. In the motion, Fields requested that the trial court "correct" the April 18, 2014 sentencing entry. Fields stated that he was sentenced to serve consecutive sentences on count one, aggravated assault, and count four, domestic violence. He argued that the trial court erred by imposing the consecutive terms for those counts. Fields claimed, raising this argument for the first time, that these convictions were allied offenses of similar import and they should have been merged prior to sentencing.

         {¶6} The State opposed the motion, contending that Fields waived the issue of merger because he did not timely raise it in this case and failed to challenge his sentence or allege sentencing errors in a direct appeal. Further, the State argued, in the alternative, that the facts of this case do not support Fields's theory of merger. As opposed to a single incident, the State noted that there were several incidents of criminal conduct underlying the charges in this matter.

         {¶7} The trial court held a hearing on the motion on May 12, 2017. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial judge made the following statement regarding Fields's argument:

Well, the [c]ourt disagrees with you. I believe that they were not allied offenses of similar import. They were separate offenses which he can be separately charged and sentenced.
So I'm going to overrule your motion, and you can file a notice for delayed appeal and possibly the Court of Appeals ...

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