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State v. Oudeman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake

July 1, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PAUL OUDEMAN, JR., Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017 CR 000785.

          Charles E. Coulson, Lake County Prosecutor, and Teri R. Daniel, Assistant Prosecutor, Lake County Administration Building, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).

          Vanessa R. Clapp, Lake County Public Defender, and Melissa Ann Blake, Assistant Public Defender, (For Defendant-Appellant).

          OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Paul Oudeman, Jr., appeals from the judgment of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, sentencing him to a term of 180 days imprisonment and four years community control, after accepting his plea of guilty to violating a condition of his community control. At issue is whether the trial court is authorized to sentence appellant to both a term of imprisonment and extend community control for a violation of a condition of community control imposed as a penalty for a prior criminal conviction. We affirm.

         {¶2} On July 4, 2017, appellant was involved in a series of car accidents. Police were notified, and appellant failed to stop when given a lawful order. As a result, appellant was charged with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony. Appellant ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of attempted failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a fourth-degree felony. The trial court sentenced appellant to community control sanctions, including a three-year term of probation.

         {¶3} On July 3, 2018, the state filed a motion to terminate community control accompanied by an affidavit of a probation violation. The affidavit alleged appellant used alcohol in violation of the conditions of his community control sanctions. Appellant subsequently pleaded guilty to violating the terms of community control. The trial court then sentenced him to 180 days imprisonment and also extended his community control sanctions by one year, for a total of four years community control.

         {¶4} Appellant served his prison term after which he commenced serving the extended community control. He now appeals assigning the following as error:

         {¶5} "The trial court erred by sentencing the defendant-appellant to a split sentence of 180 days in prison and community control sanctions as part of one sentence for the same charge, in violation of the legislative intent of Ohio's felony sentencing law."

         {¶6} Appellant contends the trial court erred as a matter of law when it imposed both prison time and additional community control for his violation of a condition of his existing community control. Where a trial court's judgment is challenged on a purported misconstruction of the law, the appropriate standard of review is de novo. State v. Morris, 132 Ohio St.3d 337, 2012-Ohio-2407, ¶16.

         {¶7} In support of his position, appellant principally relies upon State v. Anderson, 143 Ohio St.3d 173, 2015-Ohio-2089 and State v. Paige, 153 Ohio St.3d 214, 2018-Ohio-813. In Anderson, the defendant was convicted of two felonies; the trial court sentenced him to a term of imprisonment for each felony and also issued a no-contact order, a community control sanction. On appeal, the defendant challenged the trial court's authority to impose the no-contact order in conjunction with a prison term. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed the trial court's judgment. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Court examined the relevant felony-sentencing statutes and concluded "the General Assembly intended prison terms and community control sanctions to be alternative sanctions." Anderson, supra, at ¶28. The Court therefore held that, "as a general rule, when a prison term and community control are possible sentences for a particular felony offense, absent an express exception, the court must impose either a prison term or a community-control sanction or sanctions." Id. at ¶31. Accordingly, the Court reversed and vacated the sentence.

         {¶8} In Paige, the defendant pleaded guilty to sexual battery and domestic violence. The court imposed a community-residential sanction for one offense and a prison term for the other, and ordered them to be served concurrently. On appeal, the defendant argued the sentence was an impermissible "split sentence" not authorized by statute. The appellate court agreed but the Supreme Court, applying Anderson, reversed the decision. The Court asserted the defendant's sentence was not a "split sentence" because the trial court imposed the community control and prison term for two separate offenses. The Court explained that "pursuant to the felony-sentencing statues, a court must impose either a prison term or a community-control sanction as a sentence for a particular felony offense - a court cannot impose both for a single offense. The trial court complied with that rule here by imposing a prison sentence on the sexual-battery count and, separately, a five-year period of community control on the domestic-violence count." Paige, supra, at ¶6.

         {¶9} Anderson and Paige are both distinguishable from the instant matter insofar as they each addressed sentences relating to the underlying offenses with which the respective defendant was charged. Appellant was sentenced for violating a condition of community control, upon which he was placed after pleading guilty to the underlying offense. R.C. 2929.15(B)(1) controls a sentencing court's authority when imposing sanctions for a violation of a condition of community control. It provides:

         {¶10} If the conditions of a community control sanction are violated or if the offender violates a law or leaves the state without the permission of the court or the offender's probation officer, the sentencing court ...


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