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State v. Knox

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

June 10, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
LARRY KNOX Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 15CR092937

          JOHN D. TOTH, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          DENNIS P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and BRIAN P. MURPHY, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          DONNA J. CARR JUDGE.

         {¶1} Appellant, Larry Knox, appeals the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} In 1999, Knox was convicted of sexual imposition and gross sexual imposition in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. At that time, he was classified as a sexual predator. Though Knox was reclassified under the Adam Walsh Act, the trial court ultimately reinstated Knox's classification as a sexual predator under Megan's Law pursuant to State v. Bodyke, 126 Ohio St.3d 266, 2010-Ohio-2424. Knox was subsequently charged with failure to verify his address in Cuyahoga County. On October 1, 2015, the trial court granted a motion to dismiss on the basis that Knox had not been properly notified of his duties to register at the time his sexual predator classification was reinstated. The trial court notified Knox of his duties to register at that time.

         {¶3} On January 22, 2016, the Lorain County Grand Jury indicted Knox on one count of failure to register as a sexually oriented offender. Knox invoked his right to self-representation and the matter proceeded to a bench trial. Knox was found guilty of the sole charge in the indictment. The trial court sentenced Knox to a 24-month term of incarceration.

         {¶4} On appeal, Knox raises two assignments of error.

         II.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
THE FAILURE OF THE TRIAL COURT TO RAISE "SUA SPONTE" THE ISSUE OF THE DEFENDANT'S COMPETENCY WAS AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION. THIS FAILURE LED TO A VIOLATION OF KNOX'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.

         {¶5} In his first assignment of error, Knox contends that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to sua sponte raise the issue of his competency to stand trial. This Court disagrees.

         {¶6} When an appellant argues that the trial court should have sua sponte raised the issue of competency based, at least in part, on events that transpired during trial, the trial court's decision as to whether to hold a competency hearing is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. State v. Rahman, 23 Ohio St.3d 146, 156 (1986). An abuse of discretion indicates that the trial court's ...


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