FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 2017-07-2601-B
C. BUCHANAN, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE CORGAN,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISIONAND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. TEODOSIO, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Appellant, Ray Owens, appeals from his convictions in the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms in
part, but reverses and remands in part.
An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop
of a vehicle occupied by Mr. Owens and T.D. The vehicle was
soon searched after a K-9 Unit alerted to the presence of
illegal drugs inside. The search revealed an abundance of
illegal drugs, including fifteen grams of marijuana, sixty
oxycodone pills, 549 tablets of THC, and ten grams of heroin.
Mr. Owens was indicted on three trafficking and three
possession charges related to methylenedioxymethamphetamine
("MDMA"), oxycodone, and marijuana. He successfully
motioned the trial court to represent himself and proceed
without counsel in this matter, signing a written waiver of
counsel form in open court. The trial court ordered his
attorney to remain appointed as standby counsel. A
supplemental indictment was then filed, charging Mr. Owens
with both trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin. No
other waiver of counsel was obtained.
The State later dismissed the aggravated trafficking in drugs
(MDMA), aggravated possession of drugs (MDMA), and possession
of marijuana charges. Mr. Owens' case proceeded to a jury
trial where he was found guilty of aggravated trafficking in
drugs (oxycodone), aggravated possession of drugs
(oxycodone), trafficking in marijuana, trafficking in heroin,
and possession of heroin. The trial court ordered a
presentence investigation report and later sentenced him to a
total aggregate prison term of eight years.
Mr. Owens now appeals from his convictions and raises four
assignments of error for this Court's review.
For ease of analysis, we will reorganize and consolidate some
of Mr. Owens' assignments of error.
OF ERROR ONE
DENIED THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL UNDER THE SIXTH
AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
WHEN THE TRIAL COURT DID NOT PROPERLY ADVISE RAY OF THE
DANGER OF SELF-REPRESENTATION. THUS, RAY DID NOT KNOWINGLY,
INTELLIGENTLY, AND VOLUNTARILY WAIVE HIS RIGHT TO COUNSEL.
In his first assignment of error, Mr. Owens argues that the
trial court did not properly advise him of the dangers of
self-representation, and his waiver of counsel was therefore