from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
J. Long, pro se.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Sheryl L. Prichard,
1} Defendant-appellant, Montez J. Long, appeals from
a judgment entered on October 31, 2017 by the Franklin County
Court of Common Pleas denying his motion for resentencing.
Although the trial court's original criminal sentencing
entry did not comply with a number of procedural
requirements, because the sentence imposed was not
discretionary, because Long has waited 20 years to challenge
the sentence, and because he did so by motion for
reconsideration rather than a substantiated motion for
delayed appeal, there is no basis for granting his motion. In
addition, because the State did not cross-appeal on the
question of whether the trial court was empowered to suspend
Long's court costs, we do not consider the merits of that
argument. We therefore affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} On November 9, 1993, a Franklin County Grand Jury
indicted Long for aggravated murder with a firearm
specification. (Nov. 9, 1993 Indictment.) We have previously
discussed the facts of this case in considerable detail and
will not engage in a full recitation of the facts in
reviewing the trial court's resolution of Long's
motion. In short, Long was convicted after having fatally
shot a person who attempted to skip to the front of the queue
at a Church's Chicken on July 10, 1993 at approximately
2:00 a.m. State v. Long, 10th Dist. No. 96APA04-511,
1997 WL 52911, 1997 Ohio App. LEXIS 416, *2-12 (Feb. 6,
3} On March 29, 1996, despite having been instructed
on the option of convicting Long on a lesser-included offense
of murder, a jury convicted Long of aggravated murder and
found he had used a firearm in the commission of the offense.
(Apr. 2, 1996 Verdict Form; Tr. Vol. VI at 969-72, 976-79,
filed June 3, 1996.) Based on the jury's finding, the
trial court sentenced Long to 20 years to life with a
mandatory consecutive 3 years of incarceration for the
firearm specification. (Apr. 2, 1996 Entry at 1.) The trial
court ordered in its entry "that the defendant pay the
costs of this prosecution" but did not specifically
calculate an amount. Id.
4} On appeal, this Court found that the jury's
verdict was insufficiently supported as a matter of law as to
the premeditation element of aggravated murder. Long
at *28-29. We, thereafter, modified Long's conviction
from aggravated murder to the lesser offense of murder and
remanded his case for resentencing. Id. at *29.
5} On August 7, 1997, the trial court held a
resentencing hearing which, in its entirety, consisted of the
THE COURT: State of Ohio versus Montez Long, 93CR-5762, set
for resentencing. We're here on the Montez Long case
based on the Court of Appeals decision that has reduced the
verdict to that of a finding of guilty on a murder
Is there anything from either party?
[PROSECUTION]: No, Your Honor. I believe the sentence is
statutory. It is murder with a firearm specification. It
carries a sentence of 15 years to life. I believe all the
parties agree on that.
THE COURT: Anything, [DEFENSE COUNSEL]?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: I have nothing.
THE COURT: Court then will go forward with the sentencing.
Mr. Long, if you can stand up for sentencing, please.
Court imposes a statutory sentence of 15 years to life. There
is an additional 3 years to be served consecutive for use of
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Thank you.
(Aug. 7, 1997 Resentencing Tr. at 3-4, filed July 31, 2017.)
Following its oral pronouncement, the trial court entered
judgment sentencing Long to serve 15 years to life with an
additional consecutive sentence of 3 years for the firearm
specification. (Aug. 7, 1997 Resentencing Entry at 2.) As
before, the defendant was ordered to "pay the costs of
this prosecution, " though the trial court did not
calculate the exact cost bill in its entry. Id. at
6} Slightly over 20 years later, Long filed a motion
in the trial court seeking another resentencing, alleging
that the August 1997 sentencing entry was void. (Oct. 5, 2017
Mot. for Resentencing.) Among other arguments, Long asserted
that the trial court had failed to properly impose costs, had
failed to inform him of his appellate rights, had failed to
offer him an opportunity to allocute, had failed to determine
his parole eligibility, and failed to state reasons for
consecutive and maximum sentences. Id. at 4-10. Long
also argued that trial counsel was ineffective in failing to
raise some of these issues at sentencing. Id. at
5-6. The State responded that costs were properly imposed,
that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to modify costs, and
that none of Long's arguments supported a conclusion that
the trial court's sentencing entry was void. (Oct. 20,
2017 Memo in Opp.) The trial court adopted some of the
State's arguments and summarily denied Long's motion.
(Oct. 31, 2017 Entry.) However, it did order further
collection of court costs to be suspended during Long's
7} Long now appeals.