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State v. Rarden

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

June 3, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
LONNIE RARDEN, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CR2006-07-1271

          Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, John C. Heinkel, for appellee

          Lonnie Rarden, appellant pro se

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Lonnie Rarden, appeals the decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas denying his motions to correct the alleged "illegal sentences" imposed by the trial court following his 2006 conviction for escape, retaliation, complicity to tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking, two counts of complicity to perjury, and 17 counts of violating a protection order. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On August 2, 2006, the Butler County Grand Jury returned an indictment in Case No. CR2006-07-1271 charging Rarden with escape. Shortly thereafter, on September 20, 2006, the Butler County Grand Jury returned an additional indictment in Case No. CR2006-09-1593 charging Rarden with retaliation, complicity to tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking, two counts of complicity to perjury, and 17 counts of violating a protection order. The trial court joined the two cases by entry filed on October 13, 2006.

         {¶ 3} On March 21, 2007, a jury found Rarden guilty of all charges in both Case No. CR2006-07-1271 and Case No. CR2006-09-1593. The trial court then sentenced Rarden to serve a total of 26-and-one-half-years in prison. This court affirmed Rarden's conviction and sentence on direct appeal and the Ohio Supreme Court declined review. State v. Rarden, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2007-03-077 (Apr. 21, 2008) (Accelerated Calendar Judgment Entry), appeal not accepted, State v. Rarden, 125 Ohio St.3d 1416, 2010-Ohio-1893.

         {¶ 4} On February 14, 2008, shortly before this court issued its decision on Rarden's direct appeal, Rarden filed a motion requesting the trial court vacate his prison sentence. In support of this motion, Rarden argued the trial court had improperly excluded evidence from trial. Construing the motion as a petition for postconviction relief, the trial court denied Rarden's petition as untimely. Rarden did not appeal from the trial court's decision.

         {¶ 5} On March 26, 2010, Rarden filed another motion requesting the trial court vacate his prison sentence. In support of this motion, Rarden argued he was not properly informed of his postrelease control obligations. Finding merit to Rarden's claim, the trial court held a resentencing hearing and properly advised Rarden of postrelease control. This court affirmed the trial court's decision and the Ohio Supreme Court again declined review. State v. Rarden, 12th Dist. Butler Nos. CA2010-04-095, CA2010-05-106 and CA2010-05-126 (Feb. 11, 2007) (Accelerated Calendar Judgment Entry), appeal not accepted, State v. Rarden, 130 Ohio St.3d 1497, 2011-Ohio-6556.

         {¶ 6} On April 10, 2013, Rarden filed yet another motion requesting the trial court vacate his prison sentence. Just as it had done for his 2010 motion, the trial court construed Rarden's motion as a petition for postconviction relief and denied the petition as untimely. The trial court also found Rarden's claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. This court affirmed the trial court's decision and the Ohio Supreme Court declined review. State v. Rarden, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2013-07-125, 2014-Ohio-564, appeal not accepted, State v. Rarden, 139 Ohio St.3d 1407, 2014-Ohio-2245.

         {¶ 7} On September 16, 2015, Rarden filed a motion requesting the trial court "void" the five-year prison sentence imposed in Case No. CR2006-07-1271 for his conviction of escape. Rarden also requested the trial court "void" his convictions for complicity to perjury and tampering with evidence in Case No. CR2006-09-1593. The trial court denied Rarden's motion upon finding his claims were again barred by the doctrine of res judicata. This court affirmed the trial court's decision and the Ohio Supreme Court again declined review. State v. Rarden, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2015-12-214, 2016-Ohio-3108, appeal not accepted, State v. Rarden, 146 Ohio St.3d 1515, 2016-Ohio-7199.

         {¶ 8} On December 11, 2017, Rarden filed a motion requesting the trial court resentence him to correct the alleged "illegal sentence(s)" imposed in both Case No. CR2006-07-1271 and Case No. CR2006-09-1593. The trial court summarily denied Rarden's motion upon finding it was "not well taken." This court affirmed the trial court's decision in State v. Rarden, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2018-03-044, 2018-Ohio-4487. In so holding, this court specifically stated that "Rarden's sentence is not void, nor contrary to law" and that "[r]es judicata applies to the lawful elements of his ensuing sentence." Id. at ¶ 25. The Ohio Supreme Court thereafter declined review. State v. Rarden, Ohio St.3d ___, 2019-Ohio-601.

         {¶ 9} On March 19, 2018, Rarden filed identical motions in Case Nos. CR2006-07-1271 and CR2006-09-1593 requesting the trial court correct the alleged "illegal sentences" imposed in both cases. In support of his motions, Rarden argued the five-year prison sentence imposed in Case No. CR2006-07-1271 for his conviction of escape was improper since the trial court "sentenced him under the wrong case number and then ran consecutive sentences to that wrong case number rendering his sentences null, void and contrary to law."

         {¶ 10} On November 13, 2018, while his two other motions were still pending, Rarden filed an additional motion requesting the trial court correct the alleged "void" 21-and-one-half-year prison sentence imposed in Case No. CR2006-09-1593 for his conviction of retaliation, complicity to tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking, two counts of complicity to perjury, and 17 counts of violating a protection order. In support of this additional motion, Rarden argued the ...


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