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State v. Solomon

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 14, 2018

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
JARON SOLOMON DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-15-597809-A

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark A. Stanton Cuyahoga County Public Defender By: Paul Kuzmins Assistant Public Defender

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Anthony Thomas Miranda Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Blackmon, J., E.A. Gallagher, A.J., and Celebrezze, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          PATRICIA ANN BLACKMON, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Jaron Solomon ("Solomon") appeals from the trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw guilty plea and assigns the following error for our review:

I. The trial court erred in failing to hold a hearing and grant appellant's motion to withdraw his plea.

         {¶2} Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm. The apposite facts follow.

         {¶3} On October 13, 2015, the court denied Solomon's motion to suppress evidence, and he pled guilty to one count of felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1) with a firearm specification. On December 2, 2015, the court sentenced Solomon to four years in prison for the assault to run consecutive to three years in prison for the firearm specification, for an aggregate sentence of seven years in prison.

         {¶4} On February 1, 2016, Solomon, acting pro se, filed a notice of appeal and a motion for leave to file delayed appeal. State v. Solomon, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 104072, 2017-Ohio-1357 ("Solomon I"). On February 17, 2016, Solomon, again acting pro se, filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that the court "failed to inform defendant of maximum penalty prior to accepting his guilty plea." This court granted Solomon leave to appeal in Solomon I on February 22, 2016. On March 7, 2016, the trial court denied Solomon's motion to withdraw guilty plea.

         {¶5} On October 19, 2016, Solomon, this time acting through counsel, filed his appellate brief in Solomon I. His sole assigned error was: "Appellant's change of plea was not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily made where he pleaded guilty with the erroneous belief that he could appeal the trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress." It is undisputed that Solomon's motion to withdraw guilty plea was filed after his notice of appeal in Solomon I.

         {¶6} On April 13, 2017, this court affirmed Solomon's conviction for felonious assault with a firearm specification. See Solomon I. Although the court noted that "Solomon's motion to withdraw his plea was not before us on appeal, " the entire opinion analyzed whether Solomon's plea was "not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered into * * * because the trial court did not inform him that by pleading guilty, he would not be able to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress." Id. at ¶ 6. This court concluded that, absent a defendant raising the issue on the record prior to pleading guilty, there is no legal authority "that requires a trial court to apprise a criminal defendant that by pleading guilty, he or she could not appeal the trial court's ruling denying a motion to suppress." Id. at ¶ 14-15.

         {¶7} On August 15, 2017, Solomon, acting through counsel, filed a second motion to withdraw guilty plea in the trial court, arguing that his plea was not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made, because "both his counsel and the Court failed to inform him that agreeing to plead guilty, as opposed to no contest, foreclosed his ability to appeal the suppression motion." The trial court denied this motion on September 18, 2017. It is from this order that Solomon appeals.

         {¶8} "Res judicata bars the assertion of claims against a valid, final judgment of conviction that have been or could have been raised on appeal. * * * Ohio courts of appeals have applied res judicata to bar the assertion of claims in a motion to withdraw a guilty plea that were or could have been raised at trial or on ...


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