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State v. Stay

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Sandusky

June 28, 2019

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
John B. Stacy Appellant

          Trial Court No. 18CR617

          Timothy Braun, Sandusky County Prosecuting Attorney, and Joseph H. Gerber, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          James H. Ellis, III, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          ZMUDA, J.

         I. Background and Procedure

         {¶ 1} On May 18, 2018, appellant John B. Stacy furnished 17-year old A.R. with Oxycodone and Xanax pills, which A.R. then crushed and snorted with appellant. At the time, appellant was 30 years old and lived in a camper near the home of A.R.'s father, on the same property. Appellant was subsequently charged with two counts of corrupting another with drugs, in violation of R.C. 2925.02(A)(4)(a), felonies of the second degree.

         {¶ 2} On September 21, 2018, appellant entered a guilty plea to Count 2 of the indictment, with the state agreeing to dismiss Count 1 at sentencing. The Court informed appellant, prior to his plea, that Count 2 carried a prison term of 2 to 8 years, with a presumption for incarceration for the second-degree felony offense. After accepting appellant's plea and finding him guilty, the trial court continued the matter for a presentence investigation report.

         {¶ 3} On November 12, 2018, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. After considering the presentence investigation report, the record, a statement from the victim's father, and the statements of the appellant and the prosecutor, the trial court imposed a prison term of two years. At the sentencing hearing, appellant acknowledged, through his attorney, the presumption for a prison sentence rather than community control for his offense.

         {¶ 4} Appellant now appeals his sentence, assigning the following as error:

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO COMPLY WITH APPLICABLE STATUTES IN SENTENCING THE APPELLANT.

         II. Analysis

         {¶ 5} Appellant challenges his prison sentence, arguing a community control sanction would have better served the purposes of sentencing under R.C. 2929.11, and that the trial court failed to consider the sentencing factors under R.C. 2929.12. In response, appellee, the state of Ohio, notes that appellant entered a guilty plea to a charge carrying a presumption for a prison term, and therefore may not challenge the two-year prison term as unlawful. Even if appellant could raise this challenge, appellee argues that the record supports the trial court's findings, as articulated in the sentencing entry.

         {¶ 6} We review a felony sentence, not for abuse of discretion, but pursuant to R.C. 2953.08(G)(1). State v. Knight, 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-13-1066, 2014-Ohio-2222, ¶ 15, citing State v. Tammerine, 6th Dist. Lucas No. L-13-1081, 2014-Ohio-425, ¶ 11. After review of the record and any findings articulated in support of the sentence, we may "increase, reduce, modify, or vacate and remand a disputed sentence" if we find, by clear and convincing evidence, either that "the record does not support the trial court's findings" under R.C. 2929.13(B) or (D) or "the sentence is otherwise contrary to law." Knight at ¶ 16, quoting R.C. 2953.08(G)(2).

         {¶ 7} Appellant was charged with 2 counts of corrupting another with drugs, in violation of R.C. ...


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