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State v. Ward

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

August 2, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ALLEN WARD, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Trial No. B-1601029

         Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Scott M. Heenan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee,

          Timothy McKenna, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          CROUSE, JUDGE.

         {¶1} Plaintiff-appellant Allen Ward appeals his eight-year prison sentence for felonious assault and his concurrent 36-month prison sentence for endangering children. In one assignment of error, Ward argues that the record does not support the lengthy prison sentence imposed by the court. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         Factual Background and Procedural Posture

         {¶2} Ward pleaded guilty to one count of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree, and one count of endangering children, a felony of the third degree. These charges arose from Ward punching an approximately 18-month-old child in the abdomen and forcing the child into a hot tub of water. The child had broken bones, liver lacerations, and burns to his body.

         {¶3} The trial court sentenced Ward to the maximum eight years on the felonious-assault count and the maximum 36 months on the endangering-children count, to be served concurrently. Ward appealed, and this court remanded his case for resentencing because the trial court did not provide Ward with his right of allocution. See State v. Ward, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C-170175, 2017-Ohio-8964, ¶ 6.

         {¶4} At Ward's resentencing, Ward's counsel reminded the court of the expert testimony from the original sentencing, which stated that Ward had a "very low IQ" and his intellectual disability may have been a contributing factor to the offenses. Counsel also noted that Ward did not have a significant criminal record prior to this offense and the child victim had fully recovered. Counsel requested an aggregate sentence of four years.

         {¶5} Ward spoke on his own behalf at the resentencing, and said that while he has been incarcerated he has not been idle even though there were not many resources available. He asked for mercy and said he was truly sorry and that the court would not see him again.

         {¶6} The state requested that the court impose the same sentences, which amounted to a total of eight years in prison.

         Law and Analysis

         {¶7} Appellate courts review sentences under the standard of review set forth in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2). An appellate court may modify or vacate a felony sentence "only if it 'clearly and convincingly finds' that the record does not support the mandatory sentencing findings, if any, or that the sentence is 'otherwise contrary to law.'" State v. Brown, 1st Dist. Hamilton Nos. C-170713 and C-170714, 2019-Ohio-1455, ¶ 10, citing R.C. 2953.08(G)(2); State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio ...


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