Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Champaign
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Trial Court Case No.
A. NAPIER, Champaign County Prosecutor's Office,
Appellate Division, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.
CLOUD, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.
1} Eric J. Turner appeals from a judgment of the
Champaign County Court of Common Pleas, which found him
guilty on his guilty pleas of three offenses: failure to
comply with an order or signal of a police officer; operating
a vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (OVI);
and aggravated possession of drugs. Specifically, Turner
appeals from the trial court's order that he pay
restitution to the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) in the
amount of $26, 897.41, based on physical damage caused to an
OSHP cruiser after Turner failed to comply with an order to
stop, fled from an officer, and collided with the cruiser.
2} For the following reasons, the judgment of the
trial court will be affirmed in part, reversed in part, and
remanded for further proceedings.
3} The events in question occurred on January 1,
2017, when Turner willfully eluded an officer after being
signaled to stop and ultimately crashed his car into an OSHP
cruiser. On January 5, 2017, Turner was indicted for failure
to comply, vandalism (of the cruiser), receiving stolen
property (a stolen license plate on the car he was driving),
OVI, and aggravated possession of drugs (Percocet). On April
17, 2017, Turner entered into a plea agreement wherein he
pled guilty to failure to comply, OVI, and aggravated
possession; the other charges were dismissed.
4} On May 15, 2017, a restitution and sentencing
hearing was held. At the hearing, two OSHP officers
testified; the responsibilities of these officers included
estimating damage to OSHP cruisers, determining when to
purchase new vehicles and, with respect to older vehicles,
when to repair them and when to "decommission" them
and send them to salvage. These officers testified that
Cruiser 1252, which was hit by Turner, had been "at its
end of life" at the time of the collision, based on its
mileage and years of service. Its estimated value prior to
the crash was $8, 805, and the amount of damage from the
crash was estimated to be $6, 000 or more, based on damage to
its body and undercarriage. However, OSHP generally does not
repair vehicles if damage exceeds 50% of the value, so
Cruiser 1252 was taken out of service. The replacement
vehicle, with "upfilling costs," was $26, 897.41.
OSHP was self-insured.
5} At the hearing, Turner's attorney expressed
Turner's willingness to "acknowledge his
responsibility" and pay restitution, but the attorney
argued that the amount of restitution sought by the State -
based on the replacement cost of a cruiser, rather than the
repair cost of Cruiser 1252 or the value of that cruiser
prior to the accident - was not appropriate.
6} Turner was sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment
for failure to comply, six months for OVI, and 11 months for
aggravated possession; the first two sentences were to be
served concurrently, but consecutively to the sentence for
aggravated possession, for an aggregate term of 47 months.
Turner was fined a total of $2, 250, and he was ordered to
pay restitution to OSHP (payable to the state treasurer) in
the amount of $26, 897.41.
7} Turner appeals, raising three assignments of
error, all of which relate to the order of restitution.
8} R.C. 2929.18(A) governs the imposition of
financial sanctions and authorizes a trial court to ...