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State v. Mincy

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

June 10, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
ELIJAH LEE MINCY, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

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

          Lorraine McBride Search, for appellant

          OPINION

          PIPER, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Elijah Mincy, appeals his sentence in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas after pleading guilty to rape and kidnapping.

         {¶ 2} Together with his codefendants, Rodney Gibson and Roger Simpson, Mincy raped the victim, "B.H.," multiple times after a party at a nearby apartment. Gibson, Simpson, and Mincy took turns raping the victim over the course of an hour and a half. Specific to Mincy, he forced the victim to engage in fellatio with him and digitally penetrated the victim's vagina and anus.

         {¶ 3} B.H. went to the hospital after she was able to leave the apartment, where she was diagnosed with multiple vaginal and anal lacerations. She was administered numbing medication to address her physical pain from the repeated rapes.

         {¶ 4} After the police investigation, Mincy was charged with 23 counts, including rape, sexual battery, kidnapping, complicity to rape, and complicity to sexual battery. Mincy plead guilty to one count of rape and one count of kidnapping, and the state dismissed the other charges.

         {¶ 5} The trial court ordered a presentence-investigative report ("PSI") and later sentenced Mincy to eight years after merging the convictions for purposes of sentencing. Mincy now appeals the trial court's decision, raising the following assignment of error:

         {¶ 6} THE SENTENCING RECORD FAILS TO SUPPORT THE EIGHT YEAR SENTENCE WHICH THE TRIAL COURT GAVE APPELLANT.

         {¶ 7} Mincy argues in his assignment of error that the trial court improperly sentenced him because the record does not support the court's sentence.

         {¶ 8} An appellate court reviews the imposed sentence according to R.C. 2953.08(G)(2), which governs all felony sentences. State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002, ¶ 1. Pursuant to that statute, an appellate court does not review the sentencing court's decision for an abuse of discretion. Id. at ¶ 10. Rather, R.C. 2953.08(G)(2) provides that an appellate court can modify or vacate a sentence only if the appellate court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the record does not support the trial court's findings under relevant statutes or that the sentence is otherwise contrary to law.

         {¶ 9} A sentence is not clearly and convincingly contrary to law where the trial court "considers the principles and purposes of R.C. 2929.11, as well as the factors listed in R.C. 2929.12, properly imposes postrelease control, and sentences the defendant within the permissible statutory range." State v. Ahlers, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2015-06-100, 2016-Ohio-2890, ¶ 8. Thus, this court may increase, reduce, or otherwise modify a sentence only when it clearly and convincingly finds that the sentence is either contrary to law or unsupported by the record. Marcum at ¶ 7.

         {¶ 10} After reviewing the record, we find the trial court's sentence is not contrary to law. Mincy pled guilty to rape, a first-degree felony according to R.C. 2907.02(A)(2). According to R.C. 2929.14(A)(1), the proper sentencing range for a felony of the first degree is three to 11 years. As such, Mincy's eight-year sentence is within the relevant statutory range. The trial court also noted in its sentencing entry and during the sentencing hearing that it had considered the purposes and principles of sentencing according to R.C. 2929.11 and the seriousness and recidivism ...


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