Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court No. 2010-CR-983
MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by ANDREW T. FRENCH, Atty. Reg. No.
0069384, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.
MICHAEL HALLOCK, JR., Atty. Reg. No. 0084630, Attorney for
1} Christopher S. Beatty-Jones appeals from a
judgment of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
following his resentencing due to the vacation of his
attempted felony murder conviction. For the following
reasons, the trial court's judgment will be affirmed.
Facts and Procedural History
2} One night in March 2010, James Locker and William
St. Peter, who were security guards at an apartment complex,
approached Beatty-Jones as he returned to his car in a guest
parking lot. When the guards patted down Beatty-Jones for
their safety, a struggle ensued. During the confrontation,
Beatty-Jones pulled out a gun and shot at St. Peter four
times, hitting him in his bulletproof vest, his side, his
forearm, and his thumb. St. Peter fell to the ground.
Beatty-Jones then fired four or five times upon Locker. When
St. Peter got to his feet and turned around, he saw Locker on
the ground and Beatty-Jones running away. Beatty-Jones was
arrested later that morning. Locker died a few days later.
3} Beatty-Jones was charged with and, after a jury
trial, found guilty of six charges, each with a firearm
specification. Counts 1, 2 and 3 - felonious assault (serious
physical harm), felonious assault (deadly weapon), and
attempted felony murder -concerned the assault on St. Peter.
Counts 4, 5, and 6 -- felonious assault (serious physical
harm), felonious assault (deadly weapon), and felony murder -
related to the assault on and death of Locker.
4} At sentencing, the trial court merged Counts 1,
2, and 3 and the accompanying firearm specifications and
imposed seven years in prison on Count 3 (attempted felony
murder), along with an additional three-year term for the
firearm specification to be served consecutively and prior to
the seven-year sentence. The court also merged Counts 4, 5,
and 6 and the accompanying firearm specifications and
sentenced Beatty-Jones on Count 6 (felony murder) to fifteen
years to life in prison, plus an additional three years for
the firearm specification to be served consecutively and
prior to the definite sentence. The sentence for Count 6 was
to be served consecutively to Count 3. Beatty-Jones's
aggregate sentence was 28 years to life in prison.
5} We affirmed Beatty-Jones's conviction on
direct appeal. State v. Beatty-Jones, 2d Dist.
Montgomery No. 24245, 2011-Ohio-3719. Beatty-Jones sought
post-conviction relief, which was denied. We affirmed the
trial court's judgment. State v. Beatty-Jones,
2d Dist. Montgomery No. 27328, 2017-Ohio-2605.
6} In July 2017, Beatty-Jones filed a motion to
vacate his conviction for attempted felony murder on the
ground that attempted felony murder was not a cognizable
offense in Ohio, pursuant to State v. Nolan, 141
Ohio St.3d 454, 2014-Ohio-4800, 25 N.E.3d 1016. The State
opposed the motion, claiming that the motion was untimely and
barred by res judicata. The trial court ordered the State to
file a memorandum addressing the issue raised in
Beatty-Jones's motion. The State's reply memorandum
agreed that Beatty-Jones's conviction for attempted
felony murder (Count 3) was void, and it "agree[d] that
this defendant should be appointed legal counsel and
re-sentenced on all of his charges except Count 3 (Attempt to
7} On November 28, 2017, the trial court granted
Beatty-Jones's motion to vacate the attempted felony
murder conviction and scheduled a resentencing hearing.
8} The trial court resentenced Beatty-Jones on
December 11, 2017. At the hearing, the State reiterated that
Beatty-Jones should be resentenced on all charges. It
asserted that Counts 1 and 2 and their accompanying
specifications should be merged for sentencing and requested
sentencing on Count 1. The prosecutor asked the trial court
to impose seven years in prison on Count 1, the same sentence
that had previously been imposed for the offenses related to
St. Peter. The prosecutor also asked the trial court to
re-impose the same sentence for Counts 4, 5, and 6 as
previously imposed. The State's requested aggregate
sentence again was 28 years to life in prison.
9} Defense counsel raised three matters with the
trial court. First, counsel asked the court to merge all
firearm specifications into a single specification. Counsel
argued that the merger of offenses and the merger of
specifications involved different analyses. Second, counsel
argued, citing Willoughby v. Lukehart, 39 Ohio
App.3d 74, 529 N.E.2d 206 (11th Dist.), that the trial court
lacked jurisdiction to resentence Beatty-Jones due to an
unjustified and lengthy delay between the conviction and
resentencing. Third, counsel requested a new trial on the
felonious assault charges concerning St. Peter, so that