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State v. Harris

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

July 20, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DRAKKAR HARRIS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeals From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas TRIAL NOS. B-1403840, B-1501428

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Philip R. Cummings, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Timothy J. McKenna, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          Cunningham, Presiding Judge

         {¶1} In these consolidated appeals, defendant-appellant Drakkar Harris appeals his sentences in the cases numbered B-1403840 and B-1501428. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgments in both cases, but we remand the causes for the trial court to issue nunc pro tunc sentencing entries to reflect the sentences the court actually imposed at the sentencing hearing.

         Background Facts and Procedure

         {¶2} Harris was charged with the 2014 robberies of two individuals in B-1403840. Harris pleaded guilty to those charges on February 6, 2015, and he remained released on bond pending sentencing. While out on bond, Harris committed several other offenses including the aggravated robberies and the felonious assault that were charged in B-1501428.

         {¶3} When Harris appeared on May 25, 2017, for sentencing in B-1403840, he also entered guilty pleas in B-1501428. In exchange, the state agreed, among other things, to reduce some of the charges, to dismiss others, and to recommend a "global" multi-case 25-year sentence of imprisonment to be comprised of an aggregate 14-year sentence in B-1403840 and B-1501428, to be served consecutively to an 11-year sentence that had been imposed by another sentencing court in the case numbered B-1502209.

         {¶4} The trial court accepted Harris' plea in B-1501428 to four counts of robbery, three accompanied by a one-year firearm specification, and one count of felonious assault with a one-year firearm specification. The court then proceeded directly to sentencing in both B-1403840 and B-1501428.

         {¶5} At the sentencing hearing, the court announced that it was imposing concurrent prison terms for the offenses committed in B-1403840, for a total of three years, and consecutive prison terms for the offenses committed in B-1501428, for a total of 14 years. The court further stated that the B-1403840 and B-1501428 sentences were to be served at the same time, but that those sentences were to be served consecutively to the 11-year sentence previously imposed in B-1502209, for a global sentence of "25 years" in prison, as requested by the state. The court also made findings in support of the consecutive sentences.

         {¶6} The sentencing entries the court journalized were consistent with the oral pronouncement and provided that the sentences imposed in each case were to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed in B-1502209. But the court did not specify that the sentences in B-1403840 and B-1501428 were to be served concurrently and that the aggregate 14-year sentence for the two cases was to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed in B-1502209. Harris now appeals, raising two assignments of error.

         Analysis

         {¶7} In his first assignment of error, Harris argues that the trial court erred by ordering that the prison terms imposed in B-1501428 be served consecutively to each other. The court sentenced Harris in B-1501428 for four different robberies and a felonious assault that occurred at the same time as one of the robberies.

         {¶8} In Ohio, there is a statutory presumption in favor of concurrent sentences for most felony offenses. See R.C. 2929.41(A). When the trial court imposes consecutive sentences, it must make the consecutive-sentences findings set out in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), and those findings must be made at the sentencing hearing and incorporated into the ...


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