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State v. Owens

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 5, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
RAY OWENS Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR 2017-07-2601-B

         APPEARANCES:

          WESLEY C. BUCHANAN, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE CORGAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISIONAND JOURNAL ENTRY

          THOMAS A. TEODOSIO, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} 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.

         I.

         {¶2} 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.

         {¶3} 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.

         {¶4} 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.

         {¶5} Mr. Owens now appeals from his convictions and raises four assignments of error for this Court's review.

         {¶6} For ease of analysis, we will reorganize and consolidate some of Mr. Owens' assignments of error.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR ONE

         RAY WAS 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.

         {¶7} 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 ...


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