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State v. Brooks

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Richland

July 13, 2018

STATE OF OHO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHRISTOPHER BROOKS Defendant-Appellant

          Appeal from the Richland County Common Pleas Court, Case NO. 2016-CR-707

          For Plaintiff-Appellee MIKE DEWINE Ohio Attorney General MICAH R. AULT.

          For Defendant-Appellant JOHN C. O'DONNELL.

          Hon. William B. Hoffman, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., J.

          OPINION

          Hoffman, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Christopher Brooks appeals the judgment entered by the Richland County Common Pleas Court finding him in violation of the terms of his community control and sentencing him to fifteen months incarceration. Appellee is the state of Ohio.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS

         {¶2} On April 25, 2017, Appellant was convicted of aggravated assault upon a plea of guilty, and placed on four years community control. On August 28, 2017, his probation officer filed notice of violation of the terms of his probation. The violation notice included four counts: failing to notify his supervising officer of his residence; failing to pay court costs, fines and supervision fees; missing fourteen office visits with his supervising officer; and failing to report contact with police officers in July of 2017 when he was assaulted.

         {¶3} The case proceeded to trial in the Richland County Common Pleas Court. Appellant admitted all violations except for failing to notify his probation officer of his residence. Appellant testified he had been assaulted and underwent surgery on his leg due to his injuries. He acknowledged not reporting the incident to his probation officer, but claimed he believed the investigating officer reported the incident to his probation officer. He testified he called his probation officer on May 5, 2017, to let him know, "I really particularly wasn't feeling doing probation[.]" Tr. 31. He testified his employer would not allow him to come back to work until he was off probation, and "then that's when I had decided to stop reporting." Tr. 34.

         {¶4} The trial court found Appellant had not committed the first charge of violation of community control, failure to notify his probation officer of his residence. He found Appellant had committed the remaining three violations.

         {¶5} Counsel requested a prison sentence based on Appellant's desire to not be placed on probation. The trial court noted Appellant's long criminal history, including four assault and battery convictions, drug abuse, two driving while intoxicated convictions, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, theft, menacing, resisting arrest, criminal trespass, dangerous ordnance, obstructing officers, four disorderly conduct convictions, criminal damaging, two convictions of domestic violence, telecommunication harassment, and attempted aggravated assault. He had twice been sent to prison, in 2000 and again in 2005. The trial court sentenced Appellant to fifteen months incarceration. Immediately upon the court's oral pronouncement of sentence, Appellant stated, "I would like to appeal the sentence right now." Tr. 42.

         {¶6} It is from the October 3, 2017 judgment finding Appellant in violation of community control and sentencing him to fifteen months incarceration Appellant prosecutes this appeal, assigning as error:

"I. THE TRIAL COURT'S DECISION TO TERMINATE DEFENDANT/APPELLANT'S COMMUNITY CONTROL WAS NOT BASED ON 'SUBSTANTIAL PROOF.'
"II. THE DEFENDANT WAS DENIED EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL IN VIOLATION OF THE FIFTH AND SIXTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED ...

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