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State v. Riley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage

August 19, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRANDON A. RILEY, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Portage Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017 CR 01063 D.

         Judgment: Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

          Victor V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Pamela J. Holder, Assistant Prosecutor, For Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Neil P. Agarwal, For Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Brandon A. Riley, appeals his sentence following his guilty plea to complicity to robbery, a second-degree felony. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand the judgment of the Portage County Court of Common Pleas.

         {¶2} Appellant was indicted on one count of robbery, in violation of R.C. 2911.02(A)(2), a felony of the second degree. At a plea hearing, the state moved to amend the charge to read complicity. The trial court granted the motion and appellant pleaded guilty to complicity to commit robbery. After finding appellant knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently entered the plea, he was found guilty. Appellant was later sentenced to four years in prison; a fine was imposed, and appellant was assessed court costs, as well as an indigent assessment and recoupment fee. Appellant was additionally notified he was required to serve a mandatory three-years post-release control. He now appeals and assigns four errors for our review. His first provides:

         {¶3} "The trial court committed reversible and plain error in accepting the defendant's guilty plea without strictly complying with the requirements of Crim.R. 11(C)(2)(C) (2/16/18, T.p. 5-8, T.d. 22)."

         {¶4} Appellant first asserts his conviction must be vacated as a result of the trial court's alleged failure to comply with Crim.R. 11(C)(2)(c), which states in part:

         {¶5} "In felony cases the court * * * shall not accept a plea of guilty or no contest without first addressing the defendant personally and doing all of the following:

         {¶6} "* * *

         {¶7} "(c) Informing the defendant and determining that the defendant understands that by the plea the defendant is waiving the rights to jury trial, to confront witnesses against him or her, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in the defendant's favor, and to require the state to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial at which the defendant cannot be compelled to testify against himself or herself."

         {¶8} Appellant contends that although the trial court described the constitutional rights that he was foregoing and made sure appellant understood them, it never explained he was waiving these rights by pleading guilty. We disagree.

         {¶9} The following exchange occurred at his plea hearing before the court accepted his guilty plea:

         {¶10} "THE COURT: Sir, do you understand the effect of your guilty plea and its consequences?

         {¶11} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶12} "THE COURT: Do you accept those consequences today?

         {¶13} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶14} "THE COURT: And, Sir, do you understand that upon accepting your guilty plea, the Court may immediately proceed with judgment and sentencing?

         {¶15} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶16} "THE COURT: Sir, do you understand you do have a right to a trial in this matter either to the Court or to a Jury?

         {¶17} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶18} "THE COURT: Are you waiving that right today?

         {¶19} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶20} "THE COURT: Okay. Did you sign this (indicating) Waiver of Right to Jury Trial?

         {¶21} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶22} "THE COURT: Did you do so voluntarily?

         {¶23} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶24} "THE COURT: Sir, do you understand you have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against you?

         {¶25} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶26} "THE COURT: Are you waiving that right?

         {¶27} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶28} "THE COURT: And, sir, do you understand you have the right to subpoena witnesses to come in and testify on your behalf?

         {¶29} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶30} "THE COURT: Are you waiving that right?

         {¶31} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶32} "THE COURT: And, sir, do you understand it is the obligation of the Prosecutor's office to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

         {¶33} "THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

         {¶34} "THE COURT: Are you ...


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