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State v. Timmons

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

June 26, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
STEVEN K. TIMMONS, aka STEVEN K. TIMMINS Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 2016 CR 1349

          Atty. Paul J. Gains, Mahoning County Prosecutor and Atty. Ralph M. Rivera, for Plaintiff-Appellee

          Atty. Katherine E. Rudzik, for Defendant-Appellant.

          BEFORE: Cheryl L. Waite, Gene Donofrio, Carol Ann Robb, Judges.

          OPINION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          WAITE, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant Steven K. Timmons (also referred to as "Timmins") appeals an April 2, 2018 judgment entry convicting him of various crimes after he entered an "Alford" plea in accordance with North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970). Appellant argues that the trial court failed to conduct the heightened analysis that is required when a defendant enters an Alford plea. Appellant additionally argues that he did not stipulate to a finding of guilt and the state failed to present evidence of his guilt, thus his plea is against the manifest weight of the evidence. In accordance with State v. Redmond, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 17 MA 0068, 2018-Ohio-2778, Appellant's arguments have merit and the judgment of the trial court is reversed. As such, Appellant's plea is vacated and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with relevant law.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶2} On April 27, 2017, a superseding indictment was filed charging Appellant with: one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2923.32(A)(1), (B); thirteen counts of burglary, felonies of the second degree in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2), (C); six counts of theft, felonies of the third degree violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(1), (B)(1)(4); four counts of receiving stolen property, felonies of the fourth degree in violation of R.C. 2913.51 (A), (C); two counts of receiving stolen property, felonies of the fifth degree in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), (C); three counts of receiving stolen property, misdemeanors of the first degree in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), (C); one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree in violation of R.C. 2925.11(C)(4), (A); and one count of possession of heroin, a felony of the fifth degree in violation of R.C. 2925.11(C)(6), (A).

         {¶3} On January 23, 2018, Appellant entered an Alford plea to the following charges: one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; seven counts of burglary; two counts of theft; one count of receiving stolen property (felony of the fourth degree); one count of receiving stolen property (felony of the fifth degree); and one count of possession of cocaine. The remaining charges were dismissed.

         {¶4} On April 2, 2018, the trial court sentenced Appellant as follows: eight years of incarceration for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, five years for each count of burglary, thirty-six months for each count of theft, eighteen months for each count of fourth degree receiving stolen property, one year for a fifth degree count of receiving stolen property, and one year for possession of cocaine. The burglary, receiving stolen property, theft, and possession sentences were ordered to run concurrently but consecutively to the sentence for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, for an aggregate total of thirteen years of incarceration. The trial court credited Appellant with 485 days of time served. This timely appeal followed.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1

         TIMMINS' PLEA WAS NOT ENTERED KNOWINGLY, INTELLIGENTLY AND VOLUNTARILY BECAUSE THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO CONDUCT THE HEIGHTENED INQUIRY REQUIRED WHEN ACCEPTING A PLEA PURSUANT TO ALFORD.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 2

         THE TRIAL COURT'S FINDING OF TIMMINS GUILTY, PURSUANT TO AN ALFORD PLEA WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION DID NOT MAKE A SEPARATE PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE WHEN TIMMINS MADE NO STIPULATION AND THE ...


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