Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage
Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common
Pleas, Case No. 2010 CR 00696. Judgment: Affirmed.
V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Kristina Reilly,
Assistant Prosecutor For Plaintiff-Appellee.
A. Smith, For Defendant-Appellant.
CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.
Appellant, Ronald J. Bruce, appeals his conviction, following
his no contest plea, of two counts of nonsupport of
dependents. At issue is whether the trial court erred in
denying his motion to dismiss, which alleged the violation of
his speedy-trial rights and the statute of limitations. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
On October 26, 2010, appellant was indicted for three counts
of nonsupport of dependents, each count being a felony of the
fifth degree. The Clerk of Courts issued a certified copy of
the indictment and warrant to the Portage County Sheriff on
that same date. The warrant information sheet, also filed
that same date, provided appellant's last known address
in Columbus, Ohio.
The statement of facts that follows is based on the
undisputed facts presented at the hearing on appellant's
motion to dismiss. On May 23, 2011, appellant was arrested in
Franklin County on the outstanding warrant issued in this
case. The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas released
appellant on a personal recognizance bond, and ordered him to
turn himself in at the Portage County Jail within five days
to clear up the outstanding warrant. Despite this order,
appellant never appeared in Portage County to resolve the
warrant. Appellant, through his attorney, admitted during the
motion hearing that he did not turn himself in as ordered by
the court and that he had no excuse for not doing so.
Six years later, on January 13, 2017, appellant was arrested
again in Franklin County on the warrant. The Franklin County
court again released him on his personal recognizance and
ordered him to report to the Portage County Jail within five
days to clear up the warrant. This time, appellant reported
to the Portage County Jail, and resolved the warrant, which
led to his arraignment on January 27, 2017, in the trial
Thereafter, appellant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the
state violated his statutory and constitutional rights to a
speedy trial and the statute of limitations.
Following a hearing, the trial court denied the motion.
Subsequently, appellant pled no contest to two counts of
nonsupport of dependents as charged in the indictment and the
court, on the state's motion, dismissed the remaining
count. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to four
years of community control.
Appellant appeals his conviction, asserting the following for
his sole assignment of error:
"The trial court erred in overruling Appellant's
Motion to Dismiss."
Appellant raises three issues under his assigned error. He
argues that his speedy trial rights were violated under R.C.
2945.71; that his constitutional right to a speedy trial was
violated; and that his right to be brought to trial within
the six-year statute of limitations was violated.
"We review a trial court's decision on a motion to
dismiss pursuant to a de novo standard of review.'"
State v. Schwentker, 11th Dist. Ashtabula No.
2015-A-0012, 2015-Ohio-5526, ¶25, quoting State v.
Rode, 11th Dist. Portage No. 2010-P-0015,
2011-Ohio-2455, ¶14. Further, "[s]peedy-trial
issues present mixed questions of law and fact."
State v. Kist, 173 Ohio App.3d 158, 2007-Ohio-4773,
¶18. (11th Dist.) "We accept the facts as found by
the trial court on some competent, credible evidence, but
freely review the application of the law to the facts."
Appellant argues on appeal that the reason for the delay in
commencing and trying this action was the state's failure
to track him down between May 2011 and January 2017. He said
he was not hiding and the state had to do something more than
just issue the warrant. In opposition, the state argues the
time between which appellant was ordered to turn himself in
to the Portage County Jail on May 23, 2011, and his second
arrest on the warrant in January 2017, was attributable to
appellant because that delay would have been avoided and
there would have been no speedy-trial or
statute-of-limitations claim if appellant had simply followed
the court's order to turn himself in to the Portage
County Jail within five days of his May 23, 2011 arrest.
I. Statutory ...