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State v. Carnes

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull

May 29, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MARK E. CARNES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas. Case No. 2014 CR 00395.

          Dennis Watkins, Trumbull County Prosecutor, and Gabriel Wildman, Assistant Prosecutor, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Mark E. Carnes, pro se, (Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY P. CANNON, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Mark E. Carnes, appeals from the August 7, 2017 judgment of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial court's judgment is affirmed.

         {¶2} On May 16, 2014, appellant was indicted by appellee, the state of Ohio, on five counts of rape, felonies of the first degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2) and (B); five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, felonies of the third degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.04(A) and (B)(3); five counts of compelling prostitution, felonies of the third degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.21(A)(2)(a) and (C); and eleven counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, felonies of the second degree, in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(1) and (B). Specifically, the indictments alleged that appellant had engaged in this conduct with two female minors from 2009 through 2014. In 2009, the victims were approximately 11 and 13 years old.

         {¶3} Appellant signed a written plea of guilty and pled guilty in open court to five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, five counts of compelling prostitution, and eleven counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. The trial court accepted the plea, and a nolle prosequi was entered on the remaining five counts of rape. The trial court deferred sentencing and ordered a presentence investigation report.

         {¶4} On November 13, 2014, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. Pursuant to the November 20, 2014 sentencing entry, the trial court found the five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor merged with the five counts of compelling prostitution, respectively, as they were allied offenses of similar import. Appellee elected to sentence on the five counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Appellant was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for each count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, to be served consecutively to each other. Appellant was also sentenced to eight years imprisonment for each of the eleven counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, to be served concurrently with each other but consecutively to the sentences for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. This resulted in an aggregate prison term of 33 years. Appellant was also fined $10, 000.00 and classified as a Tier II Sex Offender.

         {¶5} Appellant filed a direct appeal from this sentencing entry, arguing the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences was both contrary to law and not supported by the record. The judgment was affirmed in State v. Carnes, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2014-T-0120, 2015-Ohio-4429.

         {¶6} On May 25, 2017, appellant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, in which he argued the indictment in this case violated his constitutional right to due process and unconstitutionally denied him protection against double jeopardy. The trial court denied this motion without a hearing on May 31, 2017. No appeal was taken from this order.

         {¶7} On July 31, 2017, appellant filed a second motion to withdraw his guilty plea, in which he raised the same arguments. The trial court again denied the motion without a hearing on August 7, 2017.

         {¶8} Appellant noticed an appeal from this entry and asserts one assignment of error for our review:

Mr. Carnes' conviction must be reversed because the guilty plea entered was manifest injustice where the intelligence aspect were [sic] based on an invalid indictment due to its duplicitous and multiple nature denying Mr. Carnes of his constitutional right against double jeopardy.

         {¶9} Although appellant's brief on appeal is largely undecipherable, it appears his essential argument is that his pleas were not entered intelligently because of alleged defects in his indictment. Specifically, he "contest[s] the duplicitous nature of his Indictment that contained multiple counts of the same offense and where the dates of birth made the latter counts incorrect and fictitious." Appellee responds that ...


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