Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Champaign
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No.
TALEBI, Atty. Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.
D. BUSSE, Atty. Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.
1} Sidiq Najim Ali appeals from a judgment entry of
conviction, entered following his plea of guilty to one count
of domestic violence. Appellate counsel filed a brief
pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87
S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), asserting that there were
no meritorious issues for appeal. We have independently
reviewed the record, and we hereby affirm the judgment of the
2} After Ali's case was bound over from the
municipal court, Ali was indicted on September 4, 2018, on
one count of domestic violence, in violation of R.C.
2919.25(A)(D)(3), a felony of the fourth degree, and one
count of criminal damaging or endangering, in violation of
R.C. 2909.06(A)(1)(B), a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Ali pled not guilty on September 6, 2018.
3} A plea agreement was reached, and a hearing was
held on October 12, 2018. The prosecutor requested that the
court accept Ali's guilty plea to an amended Count 1,
domestic violence, with the following language deleted from
the indictment: "And the offender knew that the victim
was pregnant at the time of the offense." The prosecutor
indicated that the State agreed to the dismissal of the
remaining count. The prosecutor made the following statement
with respect to sentencing:
State has agreed to recommend a pre-sentence investigation
report. We will agree to review said report. If the Defendant
has no further criminal history record than what is already
known and disclosed in the Prosecutor's discovery packet
or by the Defendant's discovery packet, the State agrees
to recommend at sentencing community control. Along with the
special conditions including alcohol and drug counseling,
anger management counseling, and placement at West Central
Community-Based correctional facility.
If the pre-sentence investigation report or other source
reveals an additional criminal record either not previously
known to the State or not discussed prior to the entrance of
the plea; or if the Defendant is charged with an additional
criminal offense either while out on bond or from the date of
entering the plea to the final date for which the Defendant
is sentenced for this offense; or if the Defendant, after
entry of the plea is found to have violated a condition of
bond, the parties agree that the State is not bound to its
recommendations noted above.
4} Ali responded affirmatively when asked if he had
"received enough information to make decisions about
this case and to enter his plea of guilt knowingly,
intelligently, and voluntarily. Ali indicated to the court
that he believed he was released from probation in July
before his August offense. The court advised Ali that the
maximum sentence for his offense was 18 months, that the
amendment to the indictment removed the mandatory prison
provision, and that the Court "then would have to
analyze [Ali's] sentence as it would any other felony
four domestic violence offense." The court advised Ali
that it was free to accept the State's sentencing
recommendation but was not required to do so. The court also
advised Ali about post-release control. The court ascertained
that Ali understood the charge against him and the maximum
penalty, and that a plea of guilty was a complete admission
of guilt. The court conducted a thorough Crim.R. 11 colloquy
5} On October 29, 2018, the trial court sentenced
Ali to 18 months in prison. At the start of the hearing, the
court noted that Ali was wearing a yellow jumpsuit,
"which is indicative of receiving some type of
disciplinary sanction at the jail usually." Ali stated
that it was due to "an argument," and that another
inmate "called me a n***** and he tried to spit at me so
I moved out of the way and I slapped him." When asked
what discipline he received, Ali responded, "20 days in
this jumpsuit and max."
6} When asked to make a statement regarding
sentencing, the prosecutor responded as follows:
Consistent with the plea agreement, the State is recommending
that the Defendant receive community control with placement
at West Central Community-Based Correctional Facility. State
makes that recommendation after having consulted with the
victim, who is present here in the courtroom. And also having
extensive conversation with Defense Counsel.
Had the opportunity to review the pre-sentence investigation
report. Would note the Defendant's Ohio Risk Assessment
Score was 26, which places him in the high category. And
despite both the arguments for community control that were
made by both the victim and Defense Counsel, the State noted
it was significant that the Defendant indicated that he was
open to receive a prison sentence because he believed that
would give him the best opportunity for, the State's
interpretation for that request, it would give him the best
opportunity for programming to address his issues.
His issues, which he primarily identifies as being due to
alcohol. He blames all his criminal behavior to his substance
abuse problems as it relates to alcohol. He indicates, in his
opinion, that he would probably not have changed - - or
changed but for the intervention of the Court and the victim
actually calling for law enforcement.
He does have a history of prior criminal convictions. Most
notably, a prior domestic violence conviction in 2011. Prior
menacing in 2016 that was reduced to menacing as a charge of
domestic violence. There are other criminal offenses in the
Defendant's criminal history. All of which seem to be
related to - - many of which are related to violent or
turbulent behavior. And many of which that have criminal
convictions due to alcohol or substance abuse.
He self-reports alcohol and Ecstasy as being his prior drugs
of abuse that he has used. The alcohol abuse seems to be a
regular incident. And the facts of this particular case
involve the Defendant coming home. He was living with the
victim. The victim was pregnant. I believe she was 13 weeks
with their child. And they engaged in an argument surrounding
the Defendant's alcohol use.
The argument escalated. The Defendant told the victim to
leave the residence. And there are reports that he pushed the
victim down inside the residence, followed her outside,
pushed her again as she was getting into her friend's
vehicle where she struck her head. And then once outside the
vehicle he punched the window of the car shattering the
glass. And the glass cut the victim's mouth.
The victim was taken to the hospital and no significant
injuries were reported. She did have a minor injury on her
mouth. The victim has indicated that she would like to
address the Court at this time, Judge. Before I conclude my
comments though, I would indicate it is a difficult case.
It's a difficult case because there are a lot of factors
which do support a prison sentence. The State felt that
community control was appropriate, but only at the
residential setting. And only because this Defendant, in the
State's opinion, is not going to be able to succeed
without significant intervention at the residential setting.
The Defendant has no housing set up. The Defendant seems to
have a history of mental health issues and will need some
counseling. The Defendant has substance abuse problems that
cannot be addressed, in the State's opinion, successfully
on an outpatient basis. At least not initially. He will need
something more intensive than outpatient community control.
And the state views this as this is ...