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State v. Murrill

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

August 19, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
MICKEY MURRILL, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CR-2018-02-0219

          Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, Michael Greer, Government Services Center, for appellee

          Michele Temmel, for appellant

          OPINION

          RINGLAND, JUDGE

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Mickey Murrill, appeals the sentence he received in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas after he pled guilty to ten sexual offenses. For the reasons stated below, we affirm his sentence.

         {¶ 2} In February 2018, a Butler County Grand Jury indicted appellant on 25 sexual offenses that included rape, kidnapping with a sexual motivation specification, illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance, gross sexual imposition, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and voyeurism. These charges stemmed from appellant's actions with several children he knew through friends and family.

         {¶ 3} In September 2018, appellant pled guilty to ten of the offenses: one count of rape, a first-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b); one count of kidnapping with a sexual motivation specification, a first-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2); one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2907.05(A)(4); two counts of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance, one a second-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(1), the other a fifth-degree felony in violation of R.C. 2907.323(A)(3); two counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, both fourth-degree felonies in violation of R.C. 2907.322(A)(5); and three counts of voyeurism, two fifth-degree felonies in violation of R.C. 2907.08(C), the other a first-degree misdemeanor in violation of R.C. 2907.08(D).

         {¶ 4} At the sentencing hearing in October 2018, the court imposed an indefinite prison term of 10 years to life for the kidnapping offense and an indefinite prison term of 15 years to life for the rape offense. The court ordered these two sentences to run consecutively to each other. Based on a stipulation between the state and appellant, the court imposed the sentences with the possibility of parole after serving the aggregate minimum sentence. For the remaining eight offenses, one offense merged with the kidnapping offense, and for the others, the court sentenced appellant to definite prison terms with these sentences to run concurrently to the indefinite sentences. Therefore, appellant's aggregate prison sentence is 25 years to life. The trial court designated appellant a Tier III sexual offender and notified appellant about the conditions of parole and mandatory five-year postrelease control should he be released from prison.

         {¶ 5} Appellant now appeals, raising one assignment of error for review:

         {¶ 6} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF MR. MURRILL WHEN IT SENTENCED HIM TO CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES IN THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTIONS.

         {¶ 7} In his sole assignment of error, appellant argues that the consecutive sentences are contrary to law because the trial court failed to make the required findings pursuant to R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). Specifically, appellant contends that the trial court merely "acquiesced" by incorporating statements from the prosecutor at the sentencing hearing as part of its required findings. We find appellant's argument lacks merit.

         {¶ 8} This court reviews felony sentences according to R.C. 2953.08(G)(2). State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002, ¶ 1. Pursuant to that statute, an appellate court may "increase, reduce, or otherwise modify a sentence only when it clearly and convincingly finds that the sentence is (1) contrary to law and/or (2) unsupported by the record." State v. McGowan, 147 Ohio St.3d 166, 2016-Ohio-2971, ¶ 1, citing Marcum at ¶ 7.

         {¶ 9} R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) sets forth the requirements for imposing consecutive prison sentences. Pursuant to this statute, a trial court must engage in a three-part analysis and make three findings to properly impose consecutive sentences. State v. Smith, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2014-07-054, 2015-Ohio-1093, ¶ 7. Specifically, the trial court must find that "consecutive service is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender" and second, "consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public." R.C. 2929.14(C)(4); See also State v. Beasley, 153 Ohio St.3d 497, 2018-Ohio-493, ¶ 252. Third, the trial court must find that one of the following provisions applies:

(a) [t]he 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 ...

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