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State v. Barrett

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Brown

July 8, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
BRANDON LEE BARRETT, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BROWN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CRI2018-2117

          Zachary A. Corbin, Brown County Prosecuting Attorney, Mary McMullen, for appellee

          Stephen P. Hardwick, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant

          OPINION

          HENDRICKSON, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Brandon Lee Barrett, appeals from his conviction and sentence in the Brown County Court of Common Pleas for failure to provide notice of a change of address. For the reasons set forth below, judgment is reversed, Barrett's conviction is vacated, and Barrett is discharged.

         {¶ 2} On February 17, 2006, Barrett was convicted of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Clermont County Court of Common Pleas Case No. 05-CR-00661. Barrett was sentenced to five years of community control, which included four months in the county jail. Barrett was classified as a sexually oriented offender and, pursuant to the version of R.C. 2950.07(B)(3) in effect at the time of his conviction, was required to register as a sex offender for ten years.

         {¶ 3} On December 12, 2006, Barrett violated the terms of his community control in the Clermont County case. The court continued Barrett on community control but ordered him to serve six months in jail. Barrett violated his community control a second time and, on April 3, 2008, his community control was revoked. Barrett was sentenced to an 18-month prison term.

         {¶ 4} On June 26, 2017, Barrett was convicted of failure to provide notice of a change of address in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Case No. B1701306. Barrett was sentenced to a six-month prison term.

         {¶ 5} On March 21, 2018, Barrett filled out a Registration Form and Notice of Registration Duties of Sexual Oriented Offender Form with the Brown County Sheriffs Office. Barrett listed his mother's address in Hamersville, Brown County, Ohio as his address. Subsequently, in April 2018, the sheriffs office discovered that Barrett was no longer residing at the address he had registered. As a result, Barrett was indicted in the Brown County Court of Common Pleas on one count of failure to provide notice of a change of address in violation of R.C. 2950.05(F)(1), a felony of the third degree. The indictment alleged that the offense occurred between April 3, 2018 and April 13, 2018, and set forth Barrett's prior conviction for failing to provide a notice of change of address in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Case No. B1701306.

         {¶ 6} Barrett pled not guilty to the charge and a bench trial was held on August 31, 2018. At this time, certified copies of judgment entries from Barrett's convictions in Hamilton County Case No. B1701306 and Clermont County Case No. 05-CR-00661 were entered into evidence by stipulation of the parties. The state then called Brown County Sheriffs Deputy Jamie Watters and Barrett's mother as witnesses. Watters testified about the Registration Form and Notice of Registration Duties of Sexual Oriented Offender Form Barrett had completed and provided to the sheriff's office on March 21, 2018. The forms were admitted into evidence by the trial court. These forms indicated that in addition to Barrett's 2006 conviction in Clermont County and his 2017 conviction in Hamilton County, Barrett had also been convicted in 2009 for failure to provide a change of address. The forms did not indicate, however, what court the conviction arose out of or whether Barrett had been imprisoned as a result of the 2009 conviction.

         {¶ 7} Watters testified that on March 21, 2018, Barrett had indicated he was living at his mother's home in Hamersville, Ohio with his mother and his grandfather. On April 10, 2018 and April 12, 2018, sheriff's deputies were sent to Barrett's mother's home to verify Barrett was still living at that address. Barrett was not present at the address on either visit and the deputies were informed that Barrett was no longer residing at the home.

         {¶ 8} Watters testified Barrett called her on April 12, 2018. Barrett was instructed to come into the sheriff's office later that day to discuss his living arrangements. After Barrett failed to appear, Watters filed charges for his failure to provide notice of a change of address.

         {¶ 9} Barrett's mother testified Barrett began living with her on March 18, 2018, the same day he was released from prison. When sheriff's deputies arrived at her home on April 10, 2018 and April 12, 2018, Barrett's mother informed the deputies that Barrett was no longer living at the residence. However, on cross-examination, Barrett's mother claimed she had lied to the deputies about Barrett's living arrangements. She testified Barrett had, in fact, been spending his nights at her residence. However, Barrett's mother acknowledged that she had not been staying at her residence in early April 2018, and therefore had not observed Barrett staying overnight at her home.

         {¶ 10} Following Barrett's mother's testimony, the state rested its case-in-chief. Barrett moved for acquittal pursuant to Crim.R. 29, arguing the state had failed to prove that he had a duty to register between April 3, 2018 and April 13, 2018. Barrett contended that the ten-year registration requirement for his 2006 conviction had expired and the state had ...


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