Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Champaign
Court Case No. 2017-CR-184 (Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas
ADAM USMANI, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee
MATTHEW BATZ, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant
1} Eric Hatfield appeals from his conviction and
sentence for aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree
felony. Hatfield contends that the trial court erred in
calculating the amount of a post-release control
("PRC") to be imposed under R.C. 2929.141(A)(1). In
addition, Hatfield maintains that his trial counsel rendered
ineffective assistance of counsel by incorrectly calculating
the PRC time and in failing to object to the time the trial
2} Because Hatfield has completed his prison
sentence, has been released from prison, and has not been
placed on PRC there is no remedy we can provide. Accordingly,
this appeal will be dismissed as moot.
Facts and Course of Proceedings
3} In September 2017, Hatfield was indicted on two
counts of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), (C)(1)(a), both fifth-degree felonies, and
illegal use of or possession of drug paraphernalia, a
fourth-degree misdemeanor. The charges were based on
methamphetamine found on a plate and a card with residue at
Hatfield's residence, and methamphetamine found in
Hatfield's system, as demonstrated by the results of a
urine drug screen. At the time of the crimes, Hatfield was on
PRC for a prior felony.
4} On November 13, 2017, Hatfield agreed to plead
guilty to count two of the indictment (concerning the
methamphetamine found in his system), and the State asked the
court to dismiss counts one and three of the indictment.
During the plea hearing, the court noted that Hatfield had
203 days remaining on PRC when he committed the offense.
Transcript of Plea Hearing, p. 7. At that time, the court
informed Hatfield that if it decided to impose the penalty
for violating PRC, Hatfield could be subjected to a total
sentence of 12 months maximum prison time for the offense,
plus 203 days for the PRC violation. Id. at p. 9.
After being fully advised of his rights, Hatfield pled
guilty. The court then accepted Hatfield's plea, found
him guilty as charged, and set a sentencing hearing for
December 11, 2017.
5} At the sentencing hearing, the court imposed a
seven-month sentence for the drug possession charge and 203
days for the PRC violation. In the sentencing entry, the
court also gave Hatfield 9 days of jail time credit. Hatfield
timely appealed from the judgment of conviction.
6} On May 29, 2018, appointed counsel filed a brief
pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87
S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), indicating that counsel
failed to find any meritorious issues for appeal. Counsel did
suggest two assignments of error to aid in our independent
review. One potential error was that the prison sentence was
contrary to law because the trial court failed to consider
the sentencing factors in R.C. 2929.11 and R.C. 2929.12. The
other potential error was that Hatfield was improperly
sentenced to 203 days of PRC. Counsel found no merit in
either assignment of error. The State did not respond to the
7} On June 18, 2018, we notified Hatfield that his
counsel had filed an Anders brief and gave him 60
days to file a pro se brief. However, Hatfield did not file a
pro se brief. Subsequently, on November 5, 2018, we filed an
entry in which we found that one of counsel's issues had
arguable merit. See State v. Hatfield, 2d Dist.
Champaign No. 2017-CA-36 (Nov. 5, 2018), p. 1. We noted that
the term of the applicable PRC penalty (203 days) was
calculated from a date other than the date of sentencing.
Id. at p. 4. We stressed, however, that when the PRC
penalty in R.C. 2929.141(A)(1) is imposed, trial courts must
use the date of sentencing to calculate the days a defendant
has remaining on PRC. Id., citing State v.
Evilsizor, 2d Dist. Champaign No. 2017-CA-1,
8} We then appointed new counsel for Hatfield on
December 4, 2018, and new counsel filed an appellate brief on
January 4, 2019, raising two assignments of error. After the
State responded, Hatfield filed ...