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State v. Woodard

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 21, 2018


          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case Nos. CR-16-612806-A and CR-17-614273-D

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Edward M. Heindel

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Kevin E. Bringman Assistant County Prosecutor

          BEFORE: Kilbane, P.J., McCormack, J., and Blackmon, J.



         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Maurice Woodard ("Woodard"), appeals his guilty plea and sentence for burglary, grand theft, having weapons while under disability ("HWWUD"), and receiving stolen property ("RSP"). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         {¶2} In January 2017, Woodard was charged in a two-count indictment in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-17-612806-A with one count of burglary and theft. The indictment alleged that Woodard burglarized and stole electronics from a home located in Cleveland, Ohio, in October 2016.

         {¶3} In March 2017, Woodard was charged in a nine-count indictment in Cuyahoga County C.P. No. CR-17-614273-D. Woodard was charged with two counts of burglary, three counts of grand theft, theft, HWWUD, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, and RSP of a motor vehicle. This indictment also charged three codefendants: Diamond Robinson ("Robinson"), Nicholas Bacon ("Nicholas"), and Gerald Bacon ("Gerald").[1] This indictment alleged that in February 2017, Woodard, Robinson, Nicholas, and Gerald burglarized two homes in Lakewood, Ohio.

         {¶4} Through discovery in Case No. CR-17-614273-D, it was determined that Woodard committed the first burglary in Lakewood with codefendants Robinson and Gerald. Immediately after the burglary, the three men loaded stolen items into a vehicle that had been reported stolen about a week prior, and then drove to a pawn shop in Cleveland.

          {¶5} The next day, Woodard, Robinson, and Gerald burglarized a second Lakewood home with an additional fourth codefendant, Nicholas. After the second burglary, the four men returned to the same pawn shop where they were apprehended by Lakewood police.

         {¶6} Lakewood police were at the pawn shop to investigate a tip from the owner of the home that Woodard, Robinson, and Gerald had burglarized the day before. Earlier that day, Woodard returned to the pawn shop alone to sell the laptop and other stolen electronics. The homeowner was able to track the laptop when Woodard turned it on at the pawn shop.

         {¶7} Between the two Lakewood homes, the codefendants stole cash, multiple pieces of jewelry, a number of electronics, and multiple firearms. Two of the three firearms as well as "over a thousand rounds" of ammunition stolen from one of the Lakewood homes were never recovered. After his arrest, Woodard refused to cooperate with police by declining to provide information about the location of the firearms and ammunition.

         {¶8} In August 2016, Woodard entered guilty pleas in both cases pursuant to plea agreements with the state. In Case No. CR-17-612806-A, Woodard pled guilty to an amended count of burglary. In Case No. CR-17-614273-D, Woodard agreed to plead guilty as part of a package plea deal with his codefendants. Woodard pled guilty to two counts of burglary, as well as a count each of grand theft, HWWUD, and RSP of a motor vehicle. At the plea hearing, the trial court referred Woodard to the probation department for a presentence investigation report ("PSI"), and set the matter for sentencing.

         {¶9} At the September 2017 sentencing hearing, the state advised the trial court that it was seeking maximum, consecutive sentences, citing Woodard's continued refusal to cooperate with law enforcement and provide information to assist in recovering the missing firearms and ammunition.

          {¶10} In Case No. CR-17-612806-A, the trial court imposed a 36-month prison term for the single burglary count. In Case No. CR-17-614273-D, the trial court imposed an 8-year prison term on each of Counts 1 and 4 (burglary), a 12-month prison term for Count 3 (grand theft), a 36-month prison term for Count 7 (HWWUD), and an 18-month prison term for Count 9 (RSP of a motor vehicle). The trial court ordered Counts 1, 3, and 4 to run consecutively to each other and concurrently with Counts 7 and 9 for a total sentence of 17 years. The court ordered the 36-month prison sentence imposed in Case No. CR-17-612806-A to be served concurrently with the 17-year sentence.

         {¶11} It is from this order that Woodard appeals, raising the following four assignments of error for our review.

Assignment of Error One
The trial court erred when it did not have a full plea colloquy with Woodard, pausing to further explain some of the important rights he was waiving by pleading guilty.
Assignment of Error Two
The trial court erred when it imposed maximum sentences.
Assignment of Error Three
The trial court erred when it ordered restitution in the amount of $15, 000 without supporting evidence. This constituted plain error.
Assignment of Error Four
The trial court erred when it did not make the necessary findings, and engage in the correct analysis, to impose consecutive sentences.

         {¶12} For ease of analysis, we will address Woodard's assigned errors slightly out of order.

         Guilty Plea

         {¶13} In the first assignment of error, Woodard challenges the validity of his plea. He claims the trial court failed to comply with Crim.R. 11 because the trial court "should have done more to fully explain [to him] the rights" he was waiving by entering his guilty plea.

         {¶14} Crim.R. 11(C)(2) governs the trial court's acceptance of guilty pleas in felony cases. It provides, in relevant part:

(2) In felony cases the court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty * * * and shall not accept a plea of guilty * * * without first addressing the defendant personally and doing all of the following:
(a) Determining that the defendant is making the plea voluntarily, with understanding of the nature of the charges and of the maximum penalty involved, and, if applicable, that the defendant is not eligible for probation or for the imposition ...

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