Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-17-616793-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Edward F. Borkowski, Jr.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Scott C. Zarzycki Mary M. Frey
Assistant County Prosecutors Justice Center.
BEFORE: Laster Mays, J., Boyle, P.J., and Blackmon, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
LASTER MAYS, JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant, Leon Ross, III ("Ross"),
appeals his sentence and asks this court to remand to the
trial court for resentencing. We affirm.
Ross pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery, a
first-degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1); and
one count of theft, a fourth-degree felony, in violation of
R.C. 2913.02(A)(1). The trial court sentenced Ross to 6 years
imprisonment for the aggravated robbery count and 12 months
for the theft. The trial court ordered that the two sentences
be served concurrently with each other, but consecutively to
two unrelated prior cases.
The facts in this case were recited at the sentencing hearing
by the assistant county prosecutor. He stated,
They were - the victim and the defendant were friends. They
knew each other prior to this robbery. This wasn't a
stranger robbery. The victim sought out the defendant to
purchase some marijuana and he was car jacked. Similar facts
to his other case that he had already - that he had already
pled guilty to. This happened in November so it predated his
other cases just to make the [c]ourt aware of that. And so
we're asking for the appropriate sentence, so this is a
separate and distinct aggravated robbery from another similar
aggravated robbery, both with guns. Thanks.
During the sentencing hearing, the trial court engaged in a
lengthy conversation with Ross regarding his criminal
behavior and the effects his behavior has on the community.
The trial court, while discussing the unrelated cases,
focused on that fact that those cases also involved the
possession of guns by Ross. Ross filed this appeal assigning
two errors for our review:
I. The trial court erred by failing to make the required
findings pursuant to R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) before imposing a
consecutive sentence; and
II. The trial court erred by failing to merge allied
In Ross's first assignment of error, he argues that the
trial court erred by failing to make the required findings
required under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) before imposing consecutive
sentences involving an existing sentence in an unrelated
We review felony sentences under the standard set forth in
R.C. 2953.08(G)(2). State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d
516, 2016-Ohio-1002, 59 N.E.3d 1231, ¶ 16. R.C.
2953.08(G)(2) provides that when reviewing felony sentences,
a reviewing court may overturn the imposition of consecutive
sentences where the court "clearly and
convincingly" finds that (1) "the record does not
support the sentencing court's findings under R.C.
2929.14(C)(4), " or (2) "the sentence is otherwise
contrary to law."
State v. Blevins, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 105023,
2017-Ohio-4444, ¶ 13.
The consecutive sentence statute, Ohio R.C. 2929.14(C)(4),
If multiple prison terms are imposed on an offender for
convictions of multiple offenses, the court may require the
offender to serve the prison terms consecutively if the court
finds that the consecutive service is necessary to protect
the public from future crime or to punish the offender and
that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the
seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger
the offender poses to the public, and if the court also finds
any of the following:
(a) The offender committed one or more of the multiple
offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing,
was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16,
2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or ...