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State v. McClellan

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Preble

December 9, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Appellee,
v.
WILLIAM MCCLELLAN, Appellant.

          CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM PREBLE COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. 17CR12452

          Martin P. Votel, Preble County Prosecuting Attorney, Gractia S. Manning, for appellee

          Kim Bui, for appellant

          OPINION

          RINGLAND, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, William McClellan, appeals from his conviction and sentence in the Preble County Court of Common Pleas following his guilty plea to multiple violent felony offenses. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On September 12, 2017, a Preble County Grand Jury indicted McClellan on 18 counts after he engaged in a crime spree that included two assaults, an escape from inside a police cruiser, and a multi-jurisdiction manhunt.

         {¶ 3} During the pendency of this matter, McClellan was also subject to unrelated prosecution in Montgomery County. On April 17, 2018, McClellan was sentenced to 270 days in prison by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The trial court in that case credited McClellan with 194 days of jail time credit for pretrial incarceration. Thus, as of the time of the Montgomery County sentencing, McClellan was subject to an additional 76 days of incarceration until the expiration of that term.

         {¶ 4} On August 15, 2018, after entering into a plea agreement, McClellan pled guilty to nine counts for felonious assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, escape, aggravated burglary, and grand theft of a firearm. The trial court accepted McClellan's plea as voluntary, intelligent, and knowing. In a sentencing memorandum, McClellan acknowledged the agreed sentencing range of 12 to 15 years. On September 24, 2018, the trial court sentenced McClellan to a 13-year prison term and credited him with 85 days pretrial confinement credit. McClellan now appeals, raising two assignments of error for review.

         {¶ 5} Assignment of Error No. 1:

         {¶ 6} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ACCEPTING THE GUILTY PLEAS WITHOUT A STATEMENT OF FACTS SUPPORTING THE OFFENSES.

         {¶ 7} In his first assignment of error, McClellan argues the trial court erred in accepting his guilty plea because the state failed to offer any facts into evidence in violation of R.C. 2937.07, which expressly requires a recitation of facts as a prerequisite to a knowing and voluntary guilty plea in misdemeanor cases. We find McClellan's argument to be without merit.

         {¶ 8} In this case, McClellan pled guilty to nine felony counts. By its express terms, R.C. 2937.07 applies only to misdemeanor offenses. With the exception to cases involving aggravated murder, Crim. R. 11 states that "the court need not take testimony upon a plea of guilty or no contest." This conclusion is further supported by reference to the 2012 Staff Notes annotating Crim. R. 11, which expressly references R.C. 2937.07 and its application to misdemeanor offenses. There is no corresponding requirement in the Ohio Revised Code for felony offenses. As a result, the additional requirements for m isdemeanor offenses is not applicable to this case and McClellan's reliance thereon in misplaced.

         {¶ 9} To the contrary, it is well established that a guilty plea "is a complete admission of the defendant's guilt." Crim.R. 11(B)(1); State v. Bach, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2005-05-057, 2006-Ohio-501, ¶ 5. By entering a guilty plea, McClellan admitted guilt of the substantive crime. State v. Fuller, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2008-09-240, 2009-Ohio-5068, ¶ 105. "Consequently, there is no evidence to consider, and the trial court was not required to determine whether a factual basis existed to support the guilty plea, prior to entering judgment on that plea." State v. Isbell, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2003-06-152, 2004-Ohio-2300, ¶ 16. Therefore, as his guilty plea serves as a complete admission of his guilt, McClellan's first assignment of error is without merit and overruled.

         {¶ 10} ...


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