from the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017-
Plaintiff-Appellee JOHN D. FERRERO Prosecuting Attorney
RONALD MARK CALDWELL Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
Defendant-Appellant VICTORIA BADER Assistant State Public
William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon.
Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Appellant, Charles Fortson, appeals his conviction for having
weapons under a disability in violation of 2923.13(A)(2), a
felony of the third degree. Appellant was a juvenile at the
time of the filing of the complaint, but his case was
transferred to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, where
he admitted to the indictment and was sentenced on this
charge and several other charges. Appellee is the State of
AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
The facts leading to the charges filed against appellant are
unnecessary for the resolution of the appeal, so they are
The appellee was a juvenile just eleven days short of his
eighteenth birthday when he allegedly committed several
felony offenses including the only offense relevant to his
appeal, one count of having a weapon under disability in
violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2). The State filed complaints
with the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division,
charging appellant with multiple offenses on September 23,
2016 and, concurrent with the filing of the complaints, the
State filed a motion to transfer jurisdiction to the Criminal
Division of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas pursuant
to Juv.R. 30, R.C. 2152.10 and 2152.12. After a hearing on
January 26, 2017 and after a thorough evaluation of the law
and the facts, the family court issued extensive findings of
fact and conclusions of law and determined that there was
probable cause to believe that appellant committed the
alleged offenses and that he was not amenable to
rehabilitation in the juvenile system. The court transferred
his case to the criminal division per entry on February 14,
2017. Appellant did not object or appeal the family
court's findings or orders.
Appellee was indicted on March 8, 2017 for one count of
possessing a weapon under disability in violation of R.C.
2923.13(A)(2) and several other felony offenses, including
three counts of rape, one count of kidnapping, one count of
aggravated robbery, one count of improperly handling firearms
in a motor vehicle, one count of receiving stolen property,
one count of carrying a concealed weapon, one count of
trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of
possession of cocaine. He initially plead not guilty, but, on
April 10, 2017, appellant changed his plea to guilty and was
sentenced to 36 months on the violation of R.C.
2923.13(A)(2). He was sentenced on all other pending charges
for a total time of incarceration of 19 years.
Appellant filed a notice of appeal and a motion for leave to
file a delayed appeal on July 28, 2017. That motion was
granted and appellant filed a brief with a single assignment
THE STARK COUNTY COMMON PLEAS COURT ERRED WHEN IT CONVICTED
CHARLES FORTSON OF WEAPONS UNDER DISABILITY WHERE THE
DISABILITY AROSE FROM A JUVENILE ADJUDICATION. State v.
Hand, 149 Ohio St.3d 94, 2016-0hio-5504, 73 N.E.3d 448;
State v. Bode, 144 Ohio St.3d 155, 2015-0hio-1519,
41 N.E.3d 1156; FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT TO THE U.S.
CONSTITUTION; ARTICLE I, SECTION 16, OHIO CONSTITUTION.
We note that appellant has appealed only his conviction for
having a weapon under a disability and no other portion of
his conviction. We also note that this issue was not argued
before the trial court and, therefore, must be reviewed under
a "plain error standard.