Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case
Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney,
Michael Greer, for appellee.
N. Blauvelt, for appellant.
1} Appellant, Joseph North, appeals the sentence
imposed by the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. For the
reasons detailed below, we affirm.
2} On August 16, 2018, North pled guilty to one
count of receiving stolen property in violation of R.C.
2913.51(A), a fourth-degree felony, one count of tampering
with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1), a
third-degree felony, and one count of receiving stolen
property in violation of R.C. 2913.51(A), a fifth-degree
3} The trial court sentenced North to an 18-month
prison term for the fourth-degree stolen property offense and
a 24-month prison term for the third-degree tampering
offense. The trial court ordered those terms to be served
consecutively. The remaining count was ordered concurrent and
therefore the trial court sentenced North to an aggregate
prison term of 42 months. North now appeals, raising a single
assignment of error for review:
4} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING A PRISON TERM
WHERE THE FINDING THAT THE VICTIMS SUFFERED PSYCHOLOGICAL
HARM AS A RESULT OF APPELLANT'S OFFENSES WAS UNSUPPORTED
BY THE RECORD.
5} In his sole assignment of error, North alleges
the trial court erred in its sentencing decision by finding
the victims suffered psychological harm. North's argument
is without merit.
6} This court reviews felony sentences pursuant to
the standard of review set forth in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2) to
determine whether the imposition of those sentences is
clearly and convincingly contrary to law. State v.
Julious, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2015-12-224,
2016-Ohio-4822, ¶ 8. Pursuant to that statute, an
appellate court may modify or vacate a sentence only if, by
clear and convincing evidence, '"the record does not
support the trial court's findings under relevant
statutes or that the sentence is otherwise contrary to
law.'" State v. Harp, 12th Dist. Clermont
No. CA2015-12-096, 2016-Ohio-4921, ¶ 7, quoting
State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002,
7} A sentence is not clearly and convincingly
contrary to law where the trial court considers the purposes
and principles of sentencing as set forth in R.C. 2929.11, as
well as the seriousness and recidivism factors listed in R.C.
2929.12, and sentences a defendant within the permissible
statutory range. State v. Brandenburg, 12th Dist.
Butler Nos. CA2014-10-201 and CA2014-10-202, 2016-Ohio-4918,
¶ 9. The factors set forth in R.C. 2929.12 are
nonexclusive, and R. C. 2929.12 explicitly permits a trial
court to consider any relevant factors in imposing a
sentence. State v. Stamper, 12th Dist. Butler No.
CA2012-08-166, 2013-Ohio-5669, ¶ 11. According to R.C.
2929.12(B)(2), conduct may be considered more serious when
"[t]he victim of the offense suffered serious physical,
psychological, or economic harm as a result of the
offense." State v. Rich, 12th Dist. Butler No.
CA2014-01-002, 2014-Ohio-4623, ¶ 18.
8} Pursuant to R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), a trial court
must engage in a three-step analysis and make certain
findings before imposing consecutive sentences. State v.
Dillon, 12th Dist. Madison No. CA2012-06-012,
2013-Ohio-335, ¶ 9. First, the trial court must find
that the consecutive sentence is necessary to protect the
public from future crime or to punish the offender.
Id. Second, the trial court must find that
consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the
seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger
the offender poses to the public. Id. Third, the
trial court must find that one of the following applies:
(a) The offender committed one or more of the multiple
offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing,
was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16,
2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or was under
post-release control for a prior offense.
(b) At least two of the multiple offenses were committed as
part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused
by two or more of the multiple offenses so committed was so
great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the
offenses committed as part of any of the courses of conduct