Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Lantz

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage

August 26, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DANNY J. LANTZ, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2009 CR 0498.

         Judgment: Reversed and remanded.

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

          Michael A. Partlow, For Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant, Danny J. Lantz, appeals from the judgment of the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, concluding it possessed continuing jurisdiction, pursuant to R.C. 2945.401 (J)(1)(b), to keep appellant committed to a mental health institution after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2009 on two counts of felonious assault. We reverse and remand the matter.

         {¶2} In August 2009, the Portage County Grand Jury indicted appellant on two counts of felonious assault, second-degree felonies under R.C. 2903.11(A)(2). Almost immediately after appellant's arraignment, his counsel moved the trial court to order an evaluation of his sanity at the time the two offenses allegedly took place. Following the completion of the first psychological evaluation, the trial court conducted a hearing and found that appellant was competent to stand trial. Nevertheless, the court still ordered that a second evaluation be performed. Furthermore, appellant's counsel filed a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

         {¶3} Prior to the scheduled date for his trial in late December 2009, appellant executed a written waiver of his constitutional right to a jury trial. At the beginning of the ensuing bench trial, the state and appellant submitted into evidence certain stipulations of fact and a copy of a psychological report. Upon approving the stipulations and fully reviewing the report, the trial court found appellant not guilty by reason of insanity ("NGRI") as to both counts of the indictment. In so concluding, the court ultimately found:

         {¶4} by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is subject to hospitalization and, therefore, based on the recommendation of the psychologist the defendant shall be committed for the maximum sentence allowable or until restored to sanity to Heartland Behavioral Healthcare Center, the least restrictive setting consistent with the defendant's treatment needs and community safety. The court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter.

         {¶5} Pursuant to statute, continued commitment hearings and status hearings were held over the years. The last mandatory two-year review hearing occurred on September 6, 2016. The parties stipulated to the report from Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare ("NBH") and the trial court found appellant was "mentally ill, subject to hospitalization and NBH [was] the least restrictive and appropriate commitment facility."

         {¶6} On December 6, 2017, appellant's counsel moved the trial court to enter a nunc pro tunc judgment to change the original judgment committing appellant to the mental health institution. The motion sought to change the court's original order to commit appellant "for the maximum sentence allowable or until restored to sanity * * *" to commit appellant "for the maximum prison term for the most serious offense, a term of eight years." Counsel argued the original statement of commitment improperly enlarged the time-frame over which the court could exercise jurisdiction, for up to 16 years, in violation of R.C. 2945.401(J)(1)(b).

         {¶7} The matter proceeded to hearing on January 12, 2018. Appellant's counsel argued that, pursuant to R.C. 2945.401(J)(1)(b), the maximum permissible time over which the trial court could exercise jurisdiction over appellant was eight years, the maximum penalty for the most serious offense in appellant's case, a felony-two felonious assault. The state argued that, because appellant was charged with two counts of felonious assault on separate victims, and both were equally serious, the trial court could exercise jurisdiction over appellant for sixteen years, the maximum penalty for the charges if they were run consecutively.

         {¶8} The state also called Dr. Ellen Hott, the attending psychiatrist at the institution where appellant resides. Appellant was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, and had a history of substance use disorder that was in institutional remission. Dr. Hott testified appellant's treatment plan was to continue his antipsychotic and mood stabilizing medications that were currently given in long acting injectable form. Dr. Hott's recommendation was that appellant continue the treatment plan under hospital supervision. Dr. Hott testified that appellant has directly advised her that he wishes to discontinue antipsychotic medication and plans to do so upon his discharge. She further testified, however, that if appellant discontinued his medication, there was a strong possibility, in light of his diagnoses, he would become violent.

         {¶9} After the hearing, the trial court determined it had continuing jurisdiction over appellant for up to 16 years after he was found NGRI. The trial court granted the underlying ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.