Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No.
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by ANDREW T. FRENCH, Montgomery County
Prosecutor's Office, Appellate Division, Montgomery
County Courts Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.
WILLIAM O. CASS, JR., Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.
1} Stephen S. Purifoy pled guilty in the Montgomery
County Court of Common Pleas to one count of attempted rape,
a second-degree felony, and one count of attempted felonious
assault, a third-degree felony. As part of the plea
agreement, the State acknowledged that Purifoy would be
eligible for community control sanctions in lieu of prison.
After a presentence investigation, the trial court sentenced
Purifoy to four years in prison for the attempted rape and 36
months for the attempted felonious assault, with the
sentences to run concurrently. He was also designated a Tier
III sex offender and ordered to pay court costs of $441.08.
2} Purifoy appeals from his conviction, raising two
assignments of error: 1) whether the trial court erred by
sentencing Purifoy to prison and not community control, and
2) whether Purifoy's counsel was ineffective for failure
to file an affidavit of indigency and to request a waiver of
court costs at sentencing. For the reasons below, the trial
court's judgment will be affirmed.
3} On or about July 6, 2017, Purifoy attempted to
sexually assault a sleeping female caregiver at the group
home for the developmentally disabled where he resided. When
she resisted, he proceeded to punch and choke her. The victim
convinced Purifoy that she had managed to call 911 and that
the police had arrived, distracting Purifoy enough to escape
in her car. The police found her in her car near the group
home with marks and blood on her arms and face and abrasions
on her knees. The police went to the group home, where
Purifoy was waiting on the driveway, and officers arrested
him without incident.
4} On July 17, 2017, Purifoy was indicted on one
count of attempted rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2)
and 2923.02(A), and one count of attempt to commit felonious
assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1) and 2923.02(A).
5} Purifoy requested a competency evaluation on
August 11, 2017. The first evaluation found him to be
competent to stand trial. Upon defense counsel's request,
a second, separate evaluation was ordered, and Purifoy was
found not competent to stand trial. The court ordered a third
evaluation, which found Purifoy was competent. The parties
stipulated to the qualifications of the experts and to the
contents of their reports. The trial court found Purifoy
competent to stand trial.
6} On February 26, 2018, Purifoy entered a guilty
plea to both counts. As part of his plea agreement, the State
acknowledged that Purifoy would be eligible for community
control sanctions in lieu of a prison sentence. During the
plea hearing, the trial court explained to Purifoy that
discretion to give community control sanctions or a prison
sentence remained with the court. Purifoy stated he
understood that he may not receive community control
sanctions, and that it was possible for him to instead
receive a prison sentence.
7} During the plea hearing, when asked if he had any
questions regarding the two plea forms, Purifoy answered in
the negative. When asked if he had any mental conditions that
make it hard for him to understand what was being said or
what was happening in the court, Purifoy stated, "I got
MRDD problems," which was confirmed by the Montgomery
County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD) in the
presentence investigation. When asked if there were any
reason that he could not understand his rights as explained
to him, Purifoy answered in the negative.
8} On June 20, 2018, after a presentence
investigation, Purifoy was sentenced to four years in prison
for attempted rape, concurrent to 36 months for attempted
felonious assault. The trial court designated him a Tier III
sex offender and ordered him to pay court costs. Counsel did
not file an affidavit of indigency or request a waiver of the
court costs at the sentencing hearing.
9} Purifoy raises two assignments of ...