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State v. Yates

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Seneca

July 1, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID A. YATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID A. YATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          Appeals from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 14 CR 0281 and 15 CR 0002

          David A. Yates, Appellant

          OPINION

          SHAW, J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, David A. Yates ("Yates"), brings these appeals from the February 7, 2019, judgments of the Seneca County Common Pleas Court denying Yates's petitions for postconviction relief in trial court case numbers 14CR0281, and 15CR0002. On appeal, Yates argues that the trial court erred by failing to make sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law when denying his petitions for postconviction relief.

         Background

         {¶2} On December 3, 2014, Yates was indicted in trial court case 14CR0281 for seven counts of Theft from an Elderly Person in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(3)/(B)(3), all felonies of the fifth degree, and three counts of Theft from an Elderly Person in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(3)/(B)(3), all felonies of the fourth degree. The indictment alleged that Yates had stolen, by deception, various amounts of money from numerous elderly people over a period of time.

         {¶3} On January 1, 2015, Yates was indicted in trial court case 15CR0002 for one count of Theft from an Elderly Person in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(3)/(B)(3), a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of Theft in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(3)/(B)(2), a felony of the fifth degree.

         {¶4} On June 9, 2015, Yates entered into a written, negotiated plea agreement wherein he agreed to plead guilty to all the counts in both indictments, and in exchange, the State agreed to a joint sentencing recommendation wherein Yates would be placed on community control for five years, with some specified conditions including 120 days of local incarceration. The joint sentencing recommendation indicated that if Yates violated his community control, he would face an aggregate 104 months in prison, accounting for prison terms on all the counts (though not maximum prison terms), and consecutive sentences on all of the counts.[1] The plea agreement was accepted by the trial court and Yates was found guilty of the charges. He was sentenced in accordance with the joint sentencing recommendation on September 17, 2015, and placed on community control.

         {¶5} Over the course of 2016, the State filed three sets of allegations contending that Yates had violated his community control by: possessing marijuana, possessing Vicodin without a prescription, stealing a bike, [2] stealing prescription medication from an 84 year old woman, stealing $700 from an 80 year old woman, stealing $700 and damaging a fence belonging to an 81 year old woman, and stealing $200 from another woman.[3]

         {¶6} Yates proceeded to a hearing on the alleged violations on September 15, 2017.[4] At the hearing he admitted that he had violated his community control by possessing marijuana, stealing prescription medication from an elderly woman, stealing $700 and damaging a woman's fence, and stealing $200 from another woman. The remaining allegations were dismissed by the State. As a result of the admissions, Yates was found to be in violation of his community control, and his "reserved" aggregate prison term of 104 months was imposed. Judgment entries memorializing Yates's prison term were filed September 15, 2017. Yates did not file timely appeals of the judgments revoking his community control and sentencing him to prison.

         {¶7} Nearly a year later, on August 28, 2018, Yates filed notices of appeal with this Court, and motions for leave to file his appeals of the September 15, 2017, judgment entries. This Court denied Yates's motions for leave on October 11, 2018, finding that he did not have good cause to file delayed appeals. Yates filed motions for reconsideration, which this Court similarly denied on November 9, 2018.

         {¶8} While the appeals before this Court were pending, Yates filed petitions for postconviction relief in both trial court cases arguing, inter alia, that he suffered from Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Depression, that these disorders prevented him from having the requisite mental culpability to commit the charged crimes, and that his attorney was ineffective for failing to raise these and related issues before the trial court.

         {¶9} On November 9, 2018, Yates filed motions for summary judgment on his petitions, arguing that he was entitled to relief and that the State had failed to respond. If he was not granted summary judgment, Yates requested that he be at least granted a hearing. He also requested findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to the postconviction relief statute.

         {¶10} On January 28, 2019, the State filed responses to Yates's motions for summary judgment, contending that this Court had denied Yates's motions for leave to appeal, and his requests for reconsideration. The State summarily contended that ...


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