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State v. Mills

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 5, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
PHIL D. MILLS Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-2016-04-1091-A

         APPEARANCES:

          PHIL D. MILLS, pro se, Appellant.

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

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          DONNA J. CARR, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Defendant-Appellant Phil Mills appeals, pro se, from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} In 2016, following a traffic stop, Mills was indicted on one count of having weapons while under disability, one count of carrying concealed weapons, and one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. Trial counsel filed a motion to suppress which was denied following a hearing.

         {¶3} Thereafter, Mills entered a written plea of guilty to having weapons while under disability and improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle. The third charge was dismissed. The trial court merged the two remaining counts and Mills was sentenced to a term of 18 months on the offense of having weapons while under disability. The judgment entry was journalized August 14, 2017.

         {¶4} Mills did not file a direct appeal. However, in July 2018, Mills filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea based upon ineffective assistance of counsel and requested a hearing. Mills attached an affidavit to his motion and to his reply. In his affidavit, Mills averred that at "no point since [his] suppression hearing did [his] attorney make [him] aware that [he] was able to appeal [his] suppression hearing. Also, [he] was not made aware by [his] attorney at [his] plea and sentencing hearing that a guilty plea wa[i]ved [his] right to appeal ([his] suppression hearing) in a higher court. Only until [he] was admitted to [prison] was [he] aware of the option of entering a no-contest plea, which would've reserved [his] right to appeal [his] suppression hearing." In addition, Mills submitted, inter alia, transcripts of the suppression, plea, and sentencing hearings. The State opposed the motion. Ultimately, the trial court denied Mills' motion without a hearing.

         {¶5} Mills then filed a motion for a delayed appeal, which this Court granted. Mills appears pro se and raises three assignments of error, which will be addressed together to facilitate our discussion.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

         THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED [ITS] DISCRETION WHEN DETERMINING IF APPELLANT ENTERED HIS GUILTY PLEA KNOWINGLY, ...


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