FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 13CR088248
GIOVANNA V. SCALETTA-BREMKE, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and LINDSEY C. POPROCKI,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. SCHAFER, Presiding Judge
Defendant-Appellant, Michaell A. Newsome, appeals his
judgment of conviction entered in the Lorain County Court of
Common Pleas. This Court affirms.
In December of 2013, Mr. Newsome was charged with one count
of felonious assault in violation of RC. 2903.11(A)(1), a
felony of the second degree, and one count of felonious
assault in violation of RC. 2903.11(A)(2), also a felony of
the second degree. The charges stem from an altercation
between Mr. Newsome and T.W., which ended with Mr. Newsome
stabbing T.W. in the leg. Mr. Newsome maintained that he was
acting in self-defense.
The matter eventually proceeded to a jury trial. The jury
returned a verdict finding Mr. Newsome guilty on both counts
of felonious assault. On April 14, 2017, the trial court
merged the counts as allied offenses of similar import and
sentenced Mr. Newsome to three years in prison. Mr. Newsome
timely appeals, raising two assignments of error for our
of Error I
trial court erred to the prejudice of Mr. Newsome by failing
to inquire into whether he knowingly and intelligently
waive[d] his right to testify.
In his first assignment of error, Mr. Newsome argues that the
trial court erred when it failed to inquire as to whether Mr.
Newsome knowingly and intelligently waived his right to
testify at trial.
The Supreme Court of Ohio has held "that a trial court
is not required to conduct an inquiry with the
defendant concerning the decision whether to testify in his
defense." (Emphasis sic.) State v. Bey, 85 Ohio
St.3d 487, 499 (1999). Such an inquiry is thought to be
"simply unnecessary" and even "potentially
harmful" in that it may "'unduly interfere
with the attorney-client relationship.'"
Id. quoting People v. Curtis, 681 P.2d 504,
519 (Colo.1984) (concurring opinion). "For example,
questioning can lead into the judge's evaluation of the
wisdom of the defendant's decision, the substance of the
testimony, or simply evoke a dramatic change in a previously
carefully considered trial strategy." Id.
citing United States v. Goodwin, 770 F.2d 631, 636
(7th Cir. 1985).
The record reflects that, at the close of the State's
case, the trial judge had a discussion on the record with Mr.
Newsome's trial counsel for the purposes of determining
the schedule for the remainder of the trial and to draft jury
instructions. The trial judge asked if Mr. Newsome's
trial counsel would be presenting a case, and inquired as to
whether counsel had an opportunity to discuss with Mr.
Newsome his right to remain silent and his right to testify.