Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Williams
Court No. 96CR000032
Katherine J. Zartman, Williams County Prosecuting Attorney,
and Stacey S. Stiriz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for
Jonathan D. Leggett, pro se.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
1} Appellant, Jonathon D. Leggett, appeals from the
September 28, 2017 judgment of the Williams County Court of
Common Pleas denying appellant's postconviction motion to
set aside his alleged void judgment of conviction journalized
on March 6, 2000. For the reasons which follow, we affirm. On
appeal, appellant asserts the following assignments of error:
OF ERROR #1: THE JUDGMENT IS VOID IN THE ABOVE STYLED CASE
BECAUSE THE JUDGMENT HAS BEEN PROCURED BY FRAUD AND IS
THEREFORE VOID. THE JUDGMENT IS ALSO VOID BECAUSE OF IMPROPER
OF ERROR #2: THE CONVICTION IS VOID BECAUSE OF A VIOLATION OF
DUE PROCESS UNDER OHIO CONST. ART I SEC. 16 AND U.S.
2} The underlying facts in this case were set forth
in State v. Leggett, 6th Dist. Williams No.
WM-97-029, 1998 Ohio App. LEXIS 4078 (Sept. 4, 1998). This
case began in 1992 with the death of a two-year-old child who
was in the exclusive care of appellant at the time of her
death. At that time, appellant entered an Alford
plea, pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S.
25, 27 L.Ed.2d 162, 91 S.Ct. 160 (1970), to one count of
negligent child endangerment and one count of obstructing
justice. A nolle prosequi was entered as to the remaining
crimes charged in the indictment.
3} The prosecutor continued to review the evidence
and reevaluate the DNA evidence through specialized testing
and eventually determined that appellant could not be ruled
out as a contributor. Therefore, in 1996, appellant was
indicted for rape and manslaughter regarding the child's
death. In 2000, appellant was convicted and sentenced to life
imprisonment for the rape offense and 10-25 years of
imprisonment for the involuntary manslaughter offense. The
sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. His
conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. State v.
Leggett, 6th Dist. Williams No. WM-00-003, 2002 Ohio
App. LEXIS 470 (Feb. 8, 2002).
4} On appeal, we noted that this court and a federal
court had previously rejected appellant's double jeopardy
claim and, therefore, found the issue was barred by the
doctrine of res judicata. Id. at *4. We also
rejected claims of bad faith by the prosecution in ordering
additional DNA testing and ineffective assistance of counsel,
id at *5-6, and found his convictions were not
contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, id.
at *10. Nonetheless, appellant continues to challenge the DNA
evidence and the second indictment.
5} On May 2, 2017, appellant filed a pro se
postconviction motion for a void judgment asserting his
conviction had been procured by a fraud committed by the
prosecution. Appellant also argued the judgment of conviction
was void and subject to relief under Fed.Civ.R. 60(b)(4).
This motion again raised issues regarding the DNA evidence
and claims of double jeopardy, as well as an allegation that
appellant's juvenile delinquency record was used to
enhance his sentence.
6} On September 27, 2017, the trial court denied the
motion because it was untimely under R.C. 2953.21 and all of
the claims are barred by the doctrine of res judicata because
they were or could have been raised in prior proceedings.
Upon a review of appellant's assignments of error and the
judgment of the trial court, we find the trial court did not
err in its judgment. Therefore, we find appellant's two
assignments of error not well-taken.
7} Furthermore, the state requests in its brief that
appellant be declared a vexatious litigator and be banned
from filing any future pro se pleadings. We refer the
prosecutor to R.C. 2323.52(B), which provides the remedy for
a prosecutor contending with a vexatious litigator. See
Watkins v. Perry, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2017-T-0031,
2017-Ohio-9347, ¶ 25; Watkins v. Pough, 11th
Dist. Trumbull No. 2016-T-0100, 2017-Ohio-7026, ¶ 41.
This court does not have the authority to declare an
individual a vexatious litigator. Howard v. Indus.
Comm., 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-04-1037, 2004-Ohio-5672,
8} Having found that the trial court did not commit
error prejudicial to appellant and that substantial justice
has been done, the judgment of the Williams County Court of
Common Pleas is affirmed. Appellant ...