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State v. Strimpel

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

April 26, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
MATHEW R. STRIMPEL DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-611614-A

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Gregory T. Stralka

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Aqueelah A. Jordan Mary M. Frey Assistant County Prosecutors

          BEFORE: McCormack, P.J., Celebrezze, J., and Keough, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          TIM McCORMACK, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant Matthew R. Strimpel appeals his conviction for gross sexual imposition ("GSI"), felonious assault, and domestic violence following a guilty plea. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} On November 29, 2016, Strimpel was charged with two counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2), kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), and domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A). The charges stem from an incident involving a woman with whom Strimpel had a relationship.

         {¶3} Strimpel later withdrew his previously entered not guilty plea, and he pleaded guilty to GSI in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(1), amended Count 1; felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A), amended Count 3; and domestic violence in violation of R.C. 2919.25(A), with a removal of the furthermore clause of prior convictions. In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed to nolle the rape charge in Count 2. The court accepted Strimpel's plea and found him guilty. The court then ordered a presentence investigation report and a psychological evaluation, and it scheduled the matter for sentencing.

         {¶4} At the sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a prison sentence of 16 months on the GSI, 6 years on the felonious assault, and 17 months on the domestic violence. The court ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

         {¶5} On June 28, 2017, Strimpel filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea. On August 16, 2017, prior to any ruling on his motion by the trial court, the defendant filed a motion for leave to file a delayed appeal with this court (along with a notice of appeal), which we granted. This court then appointed counsel to represent Strimpel on appeal.

         {¶6} On appeal, Strimpel raises two assignments of error for our review:

I. The trial court erred when it accepted the appellant's guilty plea at a group hearing that did not permit the trial court to determine the extent of the appellant's ability to understand the consequences of his plea.
II. The trial court's failure to rule on the motion to withdraw the guilty plea should cause a remand back to the trial court on such issue.

         {¶7} In his first assignment of error, Strimpel challenges the trial court's acceptance of his guilty plea, contending that his purported "mental condition" prevented his understanding of the plea proceedings, and the trial court's utilization of a group plea hearing prevented the trial court from having a "meaningful dialogue" with Strimpel concerning his mental status. Strimpel argues that the group plea hearing and the court's ordering a psychological ...


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