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State v. Fields

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Champaign

July 12, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
JESSE G. FIELDS Defendant-Appellant

          Case Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court No. 2018-CR-109

          KEVIN TALEBI, Atty. Reg. No. 0069198, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          MICHAEL R. PENTECOST, Atty. Reg. No. 0036803, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          WELBAUM, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Jesse G. Fields, appeals from his conviction and sentence in the Champaign County Court of Common Pleas after he pled guilty to one count of aggravated possession of drugs. On February 26, 2019, Fields's appointed appellate counsel filed a brief under the authority of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), asserting the absence of any non-frivolous issues for appeal. On March 6, 2019, this court notified Fields that his counsel found no meritorious claims to present on appeal and granted Fields 60 days to file a pro se brief assigning any errors. After Fields failed to file a pro se brief, we conducted an independent review of the record as required by Anders. Upon reviewing the record, we find no issues with arguable merit for appeal. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

         Facts and Course of Proceedings

         {¶ 2} On June 4, 2018, the Champaign County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Fields with one count of theft of drugs in violation of R.C. 2913.02(A)(1), (B)(6), and one count of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A), (C)(1)(a). The charges arose after Fields's employer, Brandy Jackson, reported to police that Fields had stolen and ingested a capsule of lawfully prescribed Adderall that belonged to her son.

         {¶ 3} Pursuant to a plea agreement, Fields entered a guilty plea to aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. In exchange for his guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss the charge for theft of drugs and to have a presentence investigation ("PSI") conducted prior to sentencing. The State also agreed to recommend that Fields be sentenced to community control sanctions. The State's recommendation for community control was conditioned on the PSI not revealing any undisclosed criminal convictions and on Fields not violating his bond or engaging in any further criminal activity. Fields also agreed to not pursue intervention in lieu of conviction under R.C. 2951.041.

         {¶ 4} After conducting a plea colloquy in compliance with Crim.R. 11, the trial court accepted Fields's guilty plea. The trial court then ordered a PSI report and scheduled the matter for sentencing. The PSI report indicated that, for the past seven years, Fields served as a caretaker for Jackson and her children. In exchange for Fields's services, Jackson and her husband provided Fields with shelter at their residence. Fields told the PSI examiner that Jackson and her husband supported him financially and that he paid no bills.

         {¶ 5} The PSI also indicated that Jackson attended the PSI interview with Fields. Although Fields indicated that he could read and write, the PSI examiner reported that Jackson indicated she filled out the PSI questionnaire for Fields with Fields's assistance. The PSI examiner also noted that, during the interview, Fields would often look to Jackson for answers to the examiner's questions and that Jackson would often correct Fields's statements.

         {¶ 6} The PSI report further indicated that Fields admitted to stealing and ingesting an Adderall pill that was legally prescribed to Jackson's son. However, on the day Jackson reported the incident to police, Fields told the investigating officer that Jackson had given him one of her son's Adderall pills six months earlier to help him stay awake and focused. Fields, however, admitted that he did not have permission to take the pill in question. Other than the Adderall pills, Fields told the PSI examiner that he has not used drugs since 2009 and that he does not need treatment for substance abuse.

         {¶ 7} As for his criminal history, the PSI revealed that Fields had no prior felony record. Fields's record only consisted of a first-degree-misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property in 2010. Fields also self-reported a 2006 domestic violence conviction in Las Vegas, Nevada, which the PSI examiner could not confirm. Due primarily to his limited criminal history, Fields was considered to be a low risk for reoffending under the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Community Supervision Risk Assessment System.

         {¶ 8} Prior to sentencing Fields, the trial court considered the PSI report, the principles and purposes of sentencing in R.C. 2929.11, the seriousness and recidivism factors in R.C. 2929.12, Fields's sentencing memorandum, and the oral statements given by both parties. During the parties' statements, both the prosecutor and Fields's defense counsel agreed that Jackson was a negative influence on Fields and should not be involved in his life. In addition to recommending that Fields have no contact with Jackson, defense counsel recommended that Fields be ordered to obtain gainful employment and to complete the "Thinking for a Change" program.

         {¶ 9} Pursuant to R.C. 2929.13(B)(1)(a), the trial court found that community control sanctions were mandatory for Fields's offense. The trial court therefore ordered Fields to serve one year of community control sanctions that included both standard and special conditions. As part of the special conditions, the trial court ordered Fields to have no contact with Jackson or her son. In order to give Fields time to find employment and a new place to live, the trial court indicated that the no contact order would not take effect until October 15, 2018, which was four weeks from the date of sentencing. Other special conditions of Fields's community control ...


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