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State v. Oakley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Logan

June 24, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TYLER L. OAKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          Appeal from Logan County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. CR 18 09 0267

          Eric J. Allen for Appellant

          David A. Walsh, Jr. for Appellee

          OPINION

          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Tyler L. Oakley ("Oakley"), brings this appeal from the January 23, 2019, judgment of the Logan County Common Pleas Court sentencing Oakley to a six-year prison term after he pled guilty to, and was convicted of, Complicity to Robbery in violation of R.C. 2923.03(A)(1) and R.C. 2911.02(A)(2), a felony of the second degree. On appeal Oakley argues that the trial court erred by sentencing him to a greater prison term than the prison term that had been jointly recommended by the parties.

         Procedural History

         {¶2} On September 11, 2018, Oakley was indicted for Aggravated Robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), a felony of the first degree. It was alleged that on June 27, 2018, an individual was leaving Woody's Diner at Indian Lake with the proceeds of the day's sales. The individual was approached by a man wearing a mask, wielding a baseball bat. A confrontation ensued and money was taken from the diner employee. A subsequent investigation determined that three individuals were involved, Oakley being one of them. Oakley was a "getaway driver" for the operation, and may have participated in the planning. Oakley originally pled not guilty to the charge against him.

         {¶3} On December 7, 2018, Oakley entered into a written negotiated plea agreement wherein he agreed to plead guilty to the amended charge of Complicity to Robbery in violation of R.C. 2923.03(A)(1) and R.C. 2911.02(A)(2), a felony of the second degree. In exchange for his plea the State agreed to dismiss the more serious charge, and the parties agreed to jointly recommend a four-year prison term. Notably, the written plea agreement contained a provision that stated as follows.

13. I know that the sentence I will receive is solely a matter within the control of the Judge. I understand that if the State has agreed to a sentencing recommendation, the Court is not bound to accept the recommendation. I understand that if there is a jointly recommended (agreed) sentence, I may not appeal a jointly recommend sentence that is authorized by law.

         {¶4} On December 7, 2018, the trial court held a change-of-plea hearing. At the plea hearing, the agreement between the parties was recited to the trial court, and the trial court engaged in a Crim.R. 11 colloquy with Oakley. As part of the colloquy, the trial court specifically stated that "Even if there is an agreed sentence, it doesn't mean the Court is bound to follow it." (Dec. 7, 2018, Tr. at 9). The defendant indicated he understood. The trial court continued by stating, "I frequently do not follow them. In fact, it's rare I follow them. I usually make my own determination * * * Understanding that the Court is not bound by that agreed sentence, are you still willing to go forward?" (Id. at 9-10). Oakley responded affirmatively.

         {¶5} The trial court continued to inform Oakley of all the rights Oakley was waiving by entering his guilty plea, and Oakley then elected to enter a guilty plea pursuant to the agreement that had been made. The trial court accepted Oakley's plea, finding that it was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. Oakley was found guilty, and the trial court set the matter for sentencing at a later date.

         {¶6} On January 22, 2019, the matter proceeded to sentencing. Oakley gave a statement expressing remorse for his actions, and the State indicated that it was standing by the four-year prison term from the joint sentencing recommendation. The trial court then reviewed Oakley's history of involvement with the legal system both as a juvenile and as an adult, concluding that for Oakley's age-23-his record was "epic." (Jan. 22, 2019, Tr. at 14). After reviewing the principles and purposes of sentencing, and being particularly concerned with the protection of the public, the trial court determined that a six-year prison term was appropriate in this matter.

         {¶7} A judgment entry memorializing Oakley's sentence was filed January 23, 2019. It is from this judgment that Oakley appeals asserting the following assignment of error for our review.

         Assignment of Error The record in this matter does not support more than the joint sentencing ...


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