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State v. Battin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

December 5, 2019

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
James L. Battin, Defendant-Appellant.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (C.P.C. No. 15CR-835)

         On brief:

          Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Kimberly M. Bond, for appellee.

          James L. Battin, pro se.

          DECISION

          NELSON, J.

         {¶ 1} In his return here on this case, James L. Battin appeals the trial court's June 26, 2019 denial of his June 12, 2019 "Motion to Correct Illegal and Void Sentence." For reasons that overlap with some of our previous rulings in this matter, we will affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         {¶ 2} Mr. Battin acknowledges that after he was sentenced pursuant to his guilty plea and agreed sentence proposal, he "did not file a timely appeal." Appellant's Brief at 1. He also is candid in noting that "[h]owever, he has filed many collateral attack motions challenging his sentence as being void in many aspects." Id. at 2. We incorporate here the many recitations we have provided of the procedural background of this matter, but offer a shorter overview drawing on just three of our earlier decisions. See State v. Battin (which for ease of reference we shall call "Battin I"), 10th Dist. No. 17AP-911, 2018-Ohio-2533; State v. Battin ("Battin II "), 10th Dist. No. 18AP-402, 2018-Ohio-3947; State v. Battin ("Battin III "), 10th Dist. No. 18AP-888, 2019-Ohio-2195.

         {¶ 3} The state charged Mr. Battin by indictment with one count of kidnapping and one count of rape, each with an attached firearm specification. In due course, he entered into a plea agreement proposing an agreed sentence: he pleaded guilty to the second degree felony of felonious assault, with a three-year firearm specification, and joined with the state in recommending a four-year sentence on the felonious assault, consecutive to the three years on the specification, for a total prison sentence of seven years. The court accepted his plea, adopted his recommendation, and by entry dated March 21, 2016 sentenced him to the agreed seven years in prison.

         {¶ 4} Battin I held that the trial court had not erred in denying an untimely postconviction relief petition (as predicated at least in part on an argument that the court should vacate his conviction because felonious assault is not a lesser-included offense within the indicted charge of rape). Battin II affirmed the trial court's denial of a motion to "correct" a "void" sentence (as again predicated in part on an argument that his plea had not been valid because he had not been indicted for felonious assault). And Battin III again affirmed the trial court in having denied a motion to "correct" a claimed "illegal" or "void" sentence.

         {¶ 5} In appealing now from the trial court's June 26, 2019 denial of his motion to correct what he deems an illegal and void sentence, Mr. Battin posits four assignments of error:

[I.] The trial court was without the proper jurisdiction to impose a three-year mandatory prison term upon the Appellant pursuant to R.C. 2941.145.
[II.] The trial court committed plain error upon the Appellant on and at the March 16, 2016 sentencing hearing.
[III.] The trial court committed prejudicial error upon the Appellant for failure to make and file findings of facts and conclusions of law.
[IV.] The trial court violated the * * * appellant's [rights under] the protections of the Fifth Amendment's double jeopardy Clause ...

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