FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
WAYNE, OHIO CASE No. 2015 CRC-I 000206
APPEARANCES: DAVID L. DOUGHTEN, Attorney at Law, for
R. LUTZ, Prosecuting Attorney, and NATHAN R. SHAKER,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
JENNIFER HENSAL JUDGE
Richard Lawless appeals from the judgment of the Wayne County
Court of Common Pleas, denying his petition for
post-conviction relief. This Court affirms.
This Court previously set forth the factual background of
this case in Mr. Lawless's direct appeal as follows:
The two victims in this case, S.D. and R.K., are recovering
heroin addicts. At the time of the events giving rise to Mr.
Lawless's convictions, S.D. and R.K. were both active
users of heroin and Mr. Lawless was their supplier. Around
that same time, Gary Hubbard, Jr., Director of the Medina
County Drug Task Force, was the head of an organized crime
investigation that was investigating Mr. Lawless's drug
dealing activities in Ashland, Medina, and Wayne Counties.
Pursuant to that investigation, search warrants were executed
at multiple properties. Mr. Lawless suspected that S.D. and
R.K. had "snitched" on him.
Mr. Lawless's co-defendant, Michael Kouns, and S.D. lived
at one of the properties that was searched. A couple of days
after the searches, Mr. Kouns asked S.D. to go with him to a
vacant unit in the building to talk "about everything
that was going on." Mr. Lawless was waiting in that unit
and threatened S.D with a gun. Mr. Kouns then used S.D.'s
phone to text R.K., asking him to come over. When R.K.
arrived, Mr. Lawless punched him and had Mr. Kouns bind him
with duct tape. Mr. Lawless threatened R.K. with the gun and
struck him multiple times with a bat.
After Mr. Lawless ended his interrogation of S.D. and R.K.,
he threatened that he would kill them if they reported the
incident to police. Initially, neither S.D. nor R.K. went to
the police. But, about ten days after the incident, they did
report it to law enforcement.
Mr. Lawless was indicted for two counts of kidnapping, one
count of felonious assault, and two counts of abduction. Mr.
Lawless pleaded not guilty and the matter proceeded to a jury
trial. The jury found him guilty on all counts. The trial
court merged the abduction counts into the kidnapping counts
and sentenced Mr. Lawless to total of seventeen years in
State v. Lawless, 9th Dist. Wayne No. 16AP0025,
2018-Ohio-444, ¶ 2-5. This Court affirmed Mr.
Lawless's convictions on direct appeal. Id. at
While his direct appeal remained pending, Mr. Lawless filed a
petition for postconviction relief with the trial court,
raising numerous issues. The trial court denied Mr.
Lawless's petition without holding an evidentiary
hearing, and this ...