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State v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

June 28, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
TYLER JONES Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE Nos. CR-2018-02-0454-B CR-2018-05-1517

          ALAN M. MEDVICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and HEAVEN DIMARTINO, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL JUDGE.

         {¶1} Tyler Jones appeals his sentence from the Summit County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} This is a consolidated appeal of two criminal cases involving Mr. Jones. In those cases, Mr. Jones pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, felonious assault with a firearm specification, and theft. The trial court accepted Mr. Jones's plea and the matter proceeded to sentencing. After a hearing, the trial court sentenced Mr. Jones to the following terms of incarceration: 11 years for aggravated robbery, eight years for felonious assault, three years for each firearm specification, and 18 months for theft. The trial court ordered all but the theft sentence to be served consecutively, for a total of 25 years of incarceration. Mr. Jones now appeals his sentence, raising one assignment of error for our review.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY SENTENCING MR. JONES TO A MAXIMUM TERM OF IMPRISONMENT WHEN THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT DID NOT SUPPORT SUCH A SENTENCE.

         {¶3} In his sole assignment of error, Mr. Jones asserts that the trial court erred by imposing a maximum sentence for aggravated robbery and felonious assault, and by ordering those sentences to run consecutively. In reviewing a felony sentence, "[t]he appellate court's standard for review is not whether the sentencing court abused its discretion." R.C. 2953.08(G)(2). "[A]n appellate court may vacate or modify a felony sentence on appeal only if it determines by clear and convincing evidence" that: (1) "the record does not support the trial court's findings under relevant statutes[, ]" or (2) "the sentence is otherwise contrary to law." State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002, ¶ 1. Clear and convincing evidence is that "which will produce in the mind of the trier of facts a firm belief or conviction as to the facts sought to be established." Cross v. Ledford, 161 Ohio St. 469 (1954), paragraph three of the syllabus.

         {¶4} Section 2929.14(C)(4) provides that, "[i]f multiple prison terms are imposed on an offender for convictions of multiple offenses," the sentencing court may require the offender to serve the terms consecutively "if the court finds that the consecutive service is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender and that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public[.]" The court must also find "any" of the following:

(a) The offender committed one or more of the multiple offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing, was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16, 2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or was under postrelease control for a prior offense.
(b) At least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused by two or more of the multiple offenses so committed was so great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the offenses committed as part of any of the courses of conduct ...

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