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State v. Snowden

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

July 12, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
KLONE SNOWDEN Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 2017-CR-1023/2

          MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by MICHAEL J. SCARPELLI, Atty. Reg. No. 0093662, Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office, Appellate Division, Montgomery County Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

          DAVID R. MILES, Atty. Reg. No. 0013841, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant


          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Klone Snowden pled guilty in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas to murder (unclassified felony), three counts of aggravated robbery (first-degree felony), and intimidation of a witness (third-degree felony). In exchange for the pleas, 12 additional charges and specifications were dismissed. The trial court sentenced Snowden to 15 years to life in prison for the murder, 11 years on each aggravated robbery count, and 36 months for intimidation of a witness. Snowden received 94 days of jail time credit. The trial court filed an original and two amended judgment entries, which vary with respect to whether the charges are to be served concurrently or consecutively.

         {¶ 2} Snowden raises two assignments of error, one concerning the trial court's judgment entries and the other concerning jail time credit. The State concedes error in both respects, but disagrees with Snowden as to the proper remedies. For the following reasons, the trial court's March 20, 2018 and March 30, 2018 amended judgment entries will be vacated, and the trial court's original February 9, 2018 judgment entry will be reversed insofar as it awarded 94 days of jail time credit. The matter will be remanded for the trial court to determine the appropriate amount of jail time credit and to correct its judgment entry to remove any reference to Case No. 2016 CR 3549/1 in its sentences. In all other respects, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

         I. Factual and Procedural History

         {¶ 3} According to the presentence investigation report, Snowden, his co-defendant Ryshon Steele, and others committed a series of armed robberies on November 11 and 12, 2016. The first robbery occurred at approximately 9:40 p.m. on November 11, the second occurred shortly after midnight on November 12, and the third occurred in the early morning hours of November 12. During the third robbery, a victim was struck in the head with a gun. At approximately 4:20 a.m. on November 12, the police located a vehicle associated with the three robberies; no suspects were in the vehicle.

         {¶ 4} Subsequently on November 12, 2016, officers were dispatched on a report that a male, later identified as John Madden III, had been shot in the head and was lying on the road. Madden later died at the hospital from his injuries. On November 13, 2016, five individuals, including Snowden, were involved in a carjacking; the vehicle fled from the police and crashed. Snowden, Steele, and three others were apprehended.

         {¶ 5} During his interview with the police, Steele admitted to committing the aggravated robberies and to shooting Madden while robbing him. Other victims of the robberies identified Steele as the perpetrator. Another individual involved in the robberies identified Snowden as the driver of vehicle throughout the crime spree and as the individual who selected the victims.

         {¶ 6} On December 7, 2016, Snowden was indicted in Case No. 2016 CR 3549/1 with failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer and receiving stolen property based on the events of November 13, 2016. The alleged stolen property was the vehicle taken in the carjacking. The online docket for that case reflects that Snowden pled guilty to the charges in February 2017, but did not appear for the scheduled sentencing hearing; Snowden was arrested on April 19, 2017.

         {¶ 7} On April 21, 2017, Snowden was charged in this case with four counts of murder, one count of felonious assault (serious harm), one count of aggravated robbery (serious harm), three counts of felonious assault (deadly weapon), and seven counts of aggravated robbery (deadly weapon). Each count included a firearm specification. Eight of the charges related to the aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and murder of Madden; the other eight charges concerned the aggravated robbery of and, in two cases, the felonious assault of six additional complainants. Snowden remained incarcerated on the charges pending trial.

         {¶ 8} Snowden requested a bill of particulars and filed several pretrial motions, including a motion to suppress and a motion to sever his and Steele's trials. The court held a hearing on the motion to suppress over two days in June 2017. The motion to suppress was later denied, but the motion to sever was granted.

         {¶ 9} On July 17, 2017, Snowden was searched by a corrections officer while being escorted to the visitation room at the Montgomery County Jail. The officer found a handwritten note containing information about two witnesses to the charged offenses (individuals who had been with Snowden and Steele); the letter asked that the witnesses be killed and offered payment. On August 14, 2017, Snowden was charged in a "B" indictment with two counts of intimidation of a witness. At the State's request, the trial court ordered that Snowden be administratively ...

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