from Logan County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
R. Fansler for Appellant
Robinson-Bond for Appellee
Defendant-appellant Alexus E. Walton ("Walton")
appeals the judgment of the Logan County Court of Common
Pleas, alleging that the trial court did not properly balance
the seriousness and recidivism factors in sentencing her. For
the reasons set forth below, the judgment of the trial court
and Procedural History
On November 24, 2016, Walton's boyfriend, MarQuevous
Watkins ("Watkins") asked her to give him,
Zachariah Huddleston ("Huddleston"), T.F., and J.L.
a ride to Jeffrey Brentlinger's ("Brentlinger")
house. Walton agreed to drive these four passengers after she
was offered forty dollars in gas money. Walton was aware that
T.F. and J.L. were going to Brentlinger's house to
perform sexual acts with Brentlinger in exchange for money.
Tr. 8. Walton claims that she was unaware that T.F., J.L.,
Huddleston, and Watkins intended to rob Brentlinger. However,
on the way to Brentlinger's house, Walton, at the
direction of her four passengers, drove to Walmart where she
participated in the theft of ski masks and duct tape. Tr. 12,
15. Further, Watkins told the police that the four passengers
discussed their plan to rob Brentlinger while they were in
the car with Walton.
As Walton approached Brentlinger's house, she turned off
her headlights. Tr. 15. J.L. and T.F. then got out of the car
and went into the house. Watkins and Huddleston followed,
wearing ski masks as they left the vehicle. Tr. 15. Inside
the home, Watkins pulled out a gun and shot Brentlinger, who
died shortly after suffering this injury. The four passengers
then stole several items and fled the scene. Walton was
waiting for them in the car and drove Watkins, Huddleston,
J.L., and T.F. away. Tr. 15.
Walton was charged with one count of complicity to aggravated
robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), R.C. 2923.03; one
count of complicity to aggravated burglary in violation of
R.C. 2911.11(A)(1), R.C. 2923.03; one count of complicity to
murder in violation of R.C. 2903.02(B), R.C. 2923.03; and one
count of complicity to tampering with evidence in violation
of R.C. 2923.03(A)(2), R.C. 2921.12(A)(1). Doc. 2, 47. On
October 2, 2017, Walton pled guilty to one count of
complicity to aggravated robbery. Doc. 135. The remaining
charges against her were dismissed. Doc. 137. Prior to this
conviction, Walton's criminal record consisted of one
disorderly conduct conviction and a speeding ticket. Tr. 20.
At her sentencing hearing on November 9, 2017, the State
recommended a prison sentence of seven years. Tr. 1, 15. The
Defense asked that the trial court consider a prison sentence
of three or four years. Tr. 14. On December 1, 2017, Walton
was sentenced to a term of five years in prison. Doc. 142.
Appellant filed notice of appeal on December 11, 2017. Doc.
155. On appeal, appellant raises the following assignment of
The court erred in balancing the seriousness and
recidivism factors as components of its sentence.
her brief, Walton argues that the seriousness of the crimes
of her compatriots was attributed to her in the sentencing
process. She asserts that seriousness and recidivism
factors, when applied to her individual conduct, show that
her sentence is unnecessarily harsh.
Trial courts are to sentence convicted felons in accordance
with the overriding ...