FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-2017-11-3938
R. HICKS, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
SHABAZZ BALDWIN, pro se, Appellant.
BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE S. CORGAN,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Appellant, Malik Baldwin, appeals his sentence following a
guilty plea. His appointed counsel filed a brief pursuant to
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), and Mr.
Baldwin responded by proposing three issues for this
Court's review. Having independently reviewed the record,
counsel's Anders brief, and the issues proposed
by Mr. Baldwin, this Court grants counsel's motion to
withdraw and affirms the judgment of the Summit County Court
of Common Pleas.
Mr. Baldwin pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary
manslaughter in violation of R.C. 2903.03(A), with an
attendant firearm specification, and one count of kidnapping
in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2). His written plea
agreement reflected an agreed sentence consisting of a
ten-year prison term for the voluntary manslaughter
conviction, a three-year prison term for the firearm
specification, and a seven-year prison term for the
kidnapping conviction. The plea agreement provided that all
of the prison terms would be served consecutively "for
[a] 20 year total" term. The trial court sentenced Mr.
Baldwin in accordance with the plea agreement.
This Court granted Mr. Baldwin leave to file a delayed
appeal. Appointed counsel filed a motion for leave to
withdraw accompanied by an Anders brief. Consistent
with the guidelines in Anders, counsel asserted
that, after a review of the record, he was unable to find any
issues that might support an appeal. Anders, 386
U.S. at 744. Mr. Baldwin responded, proposing three issues
that he alleged were not wholly frivolous. The State of Ohio
filed a response to Mr. Baldwin's brief.
Upon the filing of an Anders brief, this Court
conducts a full examination of the proceedings to decide
whether the case is wholly frivolous. Id. One court
has elaborated on the nature of a "frivolous"
appeal for Anders purposes:
Anders equates a frivolous appeal with one that
presents issues lacking in arguable merit. An issue does not
lack arguable merit merely because the prosecution can be
expected to present a strong argument in reply or because it
is uncertain whether an appellant will ultimately prevail on
that issue on appeal. "An issue lacks arguable merit if,
on the facts and law involved, no responsible contention can
be made that it offers a basis for reversal."
State v. Moore, 2d Dist. Greene No. 07-CA-97,
2009-Ohio-1416, ¶ 4, quoting State v. Pullen,
2d Dist. Montgomery No. 19232, 2002-Ohio-6788, ¶ 4. If
this Court's independent review reveals that any issue
presented is not wholly frivolous or that there are other
arguable issues, we must appoint different appellate counsel
to represent the appellant. Pullen at ¶ 2.
Mr. Baldwin has suggested that there are three non-frivolous
issues for appeal: that the trial court committed plain error
by failing to merge his sentences for voluntary manslaughter
and kidnapping, that trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance by failing to advise him that his sentences ...