Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-18-631206-A
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Jeffrey M. Maver, Assistant Prosecuting
Attorney, for appellee.
Christopher R. Fortunato, for appellant EILEEN A GALLAGHER,
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. GALLAGHER, JUDGE
Defendant-appellant Ronnell Gates appeals his nine-month
prison sentence after pleading guilty to attempted improperly
handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fifth-degree felony.
On appeal, Gates raises one assignment of error in which he
challenges his sentence:
trial court erred in sentencing the appellant to a term of
incarceration rather than imposing a community control
reasons that follow, we dismiss the appeal as moot.
During routine patrol, Bedford police stopped a car Gates was
driving. Following a search of the vehicle, police
discovered a loaded firearm. Gates was indicted with one
count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a
fourth-degree felony. He pleaded guilty to an amended
fifth-degree felony count of attempted improper handling of
firearms in a motor vehicle and the attached specification
that required Gates to forfeit the firearm.
Review of the record reflects that the trial court sentenced
Gates to nine months in prison on November 28, 2018. There is
no indication in the record this sentence was stayed pending
appeal. There is no dispute that more than nine months has
elapsed from the time Gates began serving his sentence.
Moreover, there is no claim that Gates has not served his
entire sentence. We thus presume that Gates completed his
sentence. Accordingly, his assigned error challenging only
his sentence is therefore moot. See State v. Wright,
8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 83781, 2004-Ohio-4077, ¶ 18
("Any appeal of a sentence already served is
moot."); see also State v. Santiago, 8th Dist.
Cuyahoga No. 101612, 2015-Ohio-1301, ¶ 9
("[B]ecause [the defendant] is no longer serving his
sentence, there is no remedy this court may provide.").
Nevertheless, even if we were to address the merits of
Gates' assignment of error we would find no merit to his
Gates argues that the court erred by imposing a prison
sentence because he claims it was required to impose a
community control sanction pursuant to R.C.
6} This court reviews felony sentences pursuant to
the standard of review outlined in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2).
State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516, 2016-Ohio-1002,
59 N.E.3d 1231, ¶ 22. In relevant part, R.C.
2953.08(G)(2) provides that an appellate court's standard
of review is not whether the sentencing court abused its
discretion." Instead, the statute empowers an appellate
court to disturb a sentence if:
[I]t clearly and convincingly finds either of the following:
(a) That the record does not support the sentencing
court's findings under division (B) or (D) of section
2929.13, division (B)(2)(e) or (C)(4) of section 2929.14, or
division (I) of section 2929.20 of ...