Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Pickaway
Dawson, Chillicothe, Ohio, Pro Se Appellant.
C. Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor, and Heather MJ
Carter, Assistant Pickaway County Prosecutor, Circleville,
Ohio, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
MATTHEW W. MCFARLAND, JUDGE
This is an appeal from a Pickaway County Court of Common
Pleas decision denying Appellant's petition for
post-conviction relief alleging his trial counsel was
ineffective. Because we find the trial court did not abuse
its discretion in denying Appellant's petition, the
judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
The State charged Appellant with trafficking in heroin under
R.C. 2925.03(a)(1)(C)(6)(a), and involuntary manslaughter
under R.C. 29035.04(A). Appellant initially pleaded not
guilty, but later, after reaching a plea agreement, he
pleaded guilty. The trial court sentenced Appellant to 12
months for the trafficking and 11 years for involuntary
manslaughter with the sentences to be served concurrently
with each other, and five years of post-release control upon
his release from prison.
Appellant filed a pro se motion to withdraw his plea, which
the trial court denied. In a decision and entry dated March
23, 2018, this court affirmed Appellant's convictions on
direct appeal in State v. Dawson, 4th Dist. Pickaway No.
Appellant filed a petition for post-conviction relief on
August 13, 2018 alleging ineffective assistance of his trial
counsel. The trial court denied Appellant's petition
without a hearing on the basis of res judicata. The trial
court found that Appellant should have raised the issue of
ineffective assistance of trial counsel on direct appeal, but
reasoned that he had remedied that defect by filing a motion
to reopen his appeal under App.R. 26(B) asserting ineffective
assistance of appellate counsel for failing to assert that
Appellant's trial counsel was ineffective, which we
denied. It is this judgment of the trial court that
Appellant, acting pro se, appeals to this court, asserting
two assignments of error.
ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR
I. TRIAL COURT ABUSED IT'S [SIC] DISCRETION WHEN
IT REFUSED TO HOLD AN EVIDENTARY HEARING AND ADJUDICATE
APPELLANT'S CLAIM OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL
WHEN PRESENETED WITH OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE WHICH DE HORS THE
RECORD AND WHICH CLEARLY PROVES INEFFECTIVE ASSISTENCE OF
COUNSEL AND A VIOLATION OF APPELLANT'S DUE PROCESS AND
EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW, A VIOLATION OF APPELLANT'S
5TH, 6TH AND 14TH U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND ARTICLE
I, SECTION 10 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION.
II. TRIAL COURT ABUSED IT'S [SIC] DISCRETION
WHEN IT REFUSED TO ADJUDICATE APPELLANT'S INEFFECTIVE
ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL CLAIM BY DENYING SAID CLAIM AS BEING
BARRED BY RES JUDICATA. TRIAL COURT VIOLATED APPELLANT'S
DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW AND VIOLATED
APPELLANT'S 5TH, 6TH, AND 14TH U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL
AMENDMENTS AND ARTCLE I, SECTION 10 OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION.
"A trial court's decision to grant or deny a R.C.
2953.21 petition for postconviction relief should be upheld
absent an abuse of discretion." State v. Ulmer, 4th
Dist Scioto No. 15CA3708, 2016-Ohio-2873, ¶ 11,
citing State v. Bennett, 4th Dist. Scioto No.
15CA3682, 2015-Ohio-3832, ¶ 9. "An 'abuse of
discretion' is more than an error of law or judgment; it
implies that the trial court's attitude was unreasonable,