Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case Nos. CR-17-613232-A, CR-17-620544-A
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Blaise D. Thomas, Assistant Prosecuting
Attorney, for appellee.
Stanton, Cuyahoga County Public Defender, and John T. Martin
and Paul Kuzmins, Assistant Public Defenders, for appellant.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
EILEEN KILBANE, ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE
1} Defendant-appellant, McKale Hill
("Hill"), appeals the trial court's decision
ordering restitution and imposing a fine. For the reasons set
forth below, we affirm.
2} Hill was charged in three separate cases. In the
first, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-17-613232, Hill was charged in
February 2017 with aggravated robbery, with one- and
three-year firearm specifications attached, and also charged
with having weapons while under disability
("HWWUD"). In the second, Cuyahoga C.P. No.
CR-17-613191-A, Hill was charged in March 2017 with one count
of drug possession. In the third, Cuyahoga C.P. No.
CR-17-620544, Hill was charged in August 2017 with aggravated
murder, murder, and felonious assault, with one- and
three-year firearm specifications attached to each charge.
Hill was also charged with HWWUD.
3} In May 2018, Hill reached a plea agreement with
the state regarding all three cases. In Case No.
CR-17-613232, Hill agreed to plead guilty to aggravated
robbery with the deletion of the firearm specifications.
Under the agreement, the HWWUD charge would be dismissed. In
Case No. CR-17-613191, Hill agreed to plead guilty as
indicted. In Case No. CR-17-620544, Hill agreed to plead
guilty to an amended charge of involuntary manslaughter with
one- and three-year firearm specifications attached. Hill
also agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of felonious
assault, with the deletion of the firearm specifications, and
plead guilty to HWWUD. Under the agreement, the murder charge
would be dismissed.
Further, under the agreement, the charges for involuntary
manslaughter and felonious assault would merge. Finally, the
state and Hill jointly agreed to a recommended sentence of
18-20 years in prison. The prosecuting attorney placed on the
record that under RC. 2953.08(D)(1), if the trial court
imposed a sentence duly authorized by law, and it was jointly
recommended, it was not subject to review.
Thereafter, the trial court reviewed the charges, the
potential penalties, and the plea agreement with Hill. The
trial court explained that he would impose the recommended
sentence of 18, 19, or 20 years and that Hill would be
subject to a mandatory five-year period of postrelease
control. Hill then proceeded to plead guilty as outlined in
6} In June 2018, Hill appeared for sentencing. The
trial court indicated that the victim of the aggravated
robbery in Case No. CR-17-613232 had requested restitution in
the amount of $7, 714. Defense counsel objected to the
requested amount. The trial court proceeded to review the
itemized list provided by the probation department, which
included a jacket valued at $220, a jogging suit valued at
$125, a pair of boots valued at $190, a Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Championship ring valued at $4, 999, lost contacts valued
at $180, bandages valued at $45, and $1, 800 in damage to the
7} Defense counsel agreed with the values pertaining
to the jacket, the jogging suit, and the pair of boots, but
disagreed with the value of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA
Championship ring. Defense counsel indicated that he had been
provided no information regarding the damage to the
victim's vehicle, the lost contacts and the bandages.
8} The state presented the testimony of Benita
Ramsey ("Ramsey"), the great aunt of the victim in
Case No. CR-17-620544. Ramsey testified that she had incurred
approximately $14, 000 in funeral expenses and that she could
furnish the receipts. Ramsey testified that the cost incurred
posed a hardship and she would accept whatever amount the
trial court thought was fair.
9} Defense counsel renewed its objection and opined
that Hill would not be in a position to pay the restitution
after serving 18 to 20 years in prison. Despite his
objection, defense counsel asked the trial court to proceed
with sentencing. The trial court, however, continued the
hearing to give the parties time to furnish additional
documentary evidence of economic loss.
10} Approximately one week later, the trial court
reconvened the hearing and revisited the issue of
restitution. The state presented additional documentation to
support the request for restitution in Case Nos. CR-17-613232
and CR-17-620544. Defense counsel presented a listing of
Cavaliers Championship replica rings for sale on eBay that
ranged in price from $9 to $70.
11} Thereafter, in Case No. CR-17-613232, the trial
court sentenced Hill to six years in prison, fined him $10,
000, and ordered restitution in the amount of $1, 915. In
Case No. CR-17-613191, the trial court sentenced Hill to one
year, which would be served concurrently to the sentence in
Case No. CR-17-613232. In Case No. CR-17-620544, the trial
court sentenced Hill to 11 years, plus 3 years for the
firearm specification for the charge of involuntary
manslaughter, for a total of 14 years. The trial court
sentence Hill to three years for HWWUD to be served
concurrently with the sentence imposed for involuntary
manslaughter. The trial court ordered restitution in the
amount of $12, 759. The sentences imposed in CR- 17-613232
and CR-17-620544 were to be served consecutively for an
aggregate prison sentence of 20 years.
12} Hill now appeals, assigning the following ...