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State v. Hentrich

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Fairfield

December 9, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
BRANDY HENTRICH Defendant-Appellant

          Criminal appeal from the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017CR743

         JUDGMENT: Affirmed.

          For Plaintiff-Appellee ROBERT WITT Fairfield County Prosecutor

          For Defendant-Appellant JAMES ANZELMO

          JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin;, J. Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.

          OPINION

          Gwin, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Brandy Hentrich ["Hentrich"] appeals her conviction and sentence after a negotiated guilty plea in the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas.

         Facts and Procedural History

         {¶2} Hentrich was indicted on: (1) aggravated trafficking in drugs, a first degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.03; (2) aggravated possession of drugs, a second degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.11; (3) possession of hashish, a third degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.11; (4) possession of cocaine, a fifth degree felony, in violation of R.C. 2925.11; (5) selling, purchasing, distributing or delivering dangerous drugs, a fifth degree felony, in violation of R.C. 4729.51; (6) illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth degree misdemeanor, in violation of R.C. 2925.14; (7) possession of marijuana, a minor misdemeanor, in violation of R.C. 2925.11; and (8) illegal use or possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia, a minor misdemeanor, in violation of R.C. 2925.141.

         {¶3} Hentrich agreed to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for the defense and prosecution jointly recommending a sentence of five years in prison. The parties agreed to merge the aggravated trafficking of drugs offense into the aggravated possession of drugs offense. The prosecution also agreed not to object to Hentrich being granted judicial release.

         {¶4} Hentrich pleaded guilty, and the trial court merged the aggravated trafficking of drugs offense into the aggravated possession of drugs offense. The court ordered Hentrich to serve a total of five years in prison for the offenses. Lastly, the court ordered Hentrich to serve the five-year prison sentence consecutive to any sentence imposed on Hentrich violating the conditions of her intervention in lieu of conviction matter in a separate case.

         Assignments of Error

         {¶5} Hentrich raises two Assignments of Error, {¶6} "I. BRANDY HENTRICH DID NOT KNOWINGLY, INTELLIGENTLY AND VOLUNTARILY PLEAD GUILTY, IN VIOLATION OF HER DUE PROCESS RIGHTS UNDER THE FIFTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTION SIXTEEN, ARTICLE ONE OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION.

         {¶7} "II. HENTRICH RECEIVED INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND SECTION 10, ARTICLE I OF THE OHIO CONSTITUTION."

         I.

         {¶8} In her First Assignment of Error, Hentrich argues that the trial court failed to inform her that judicial release would not be considered, her attorney told her she would receive concurrent sentences, the trial court failed to make sure that she understood the nature of the charges against her, and her attorney pressured her into pleading guilty. [Appellant's Brief at 3-5]. Hentrich contends, therefore, her plea was not knowing, intelligent and voluntary.

         STANDARD OF APPELLATE REVIEW.

         {¶9} The entry of a plea of guilty is a grave decision by an accused to dispense with a trial and allow the state to obtain a conviction without following the otherwise difficult process of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. See Machibroda v. United States, 368 U.S. 487, 82 S.Ct. 510, 7 L.Ed.2d 473(1962). A plea of guilty constitutes a complete admission of guilt. Crim. R. 11 (B) (1). "By entering a plea of guilty, the accused is not simply stating that he did the discreet acts described in the indictment; he is admitting guilt of a substantive crime." United v. Broce, 488 U.S. 563, 570, 109 S.Ct. 757, 762, 102 L.Ed.2d 927(1989).

         {¶10} Crim. R. 11 requires guilty pleas to be made knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. Although literal compliance with Crim. R. 11 is preferred, the trial court need only "substantially comply" with the rule when dealing with the non-constitutional elements of Crim.R. 11(C). State v. Ballard, 66 Ohio St.2d 473, 475, 423 N.E.2d 115(1981), citing State v. Stewart, 51 Ohio St.2d 86, 364 N.E.2d 1163(1977). In State v. Griggs, the Ohio Supreme Court noted the following test for determining substantial compliance with Crim.R. 11:

Though failure to adequately inform a defendant of his constitutional rights would invalidate a guilty plea under a presumption that it was entered involuntarily and unknowingly, failure to comply with non-constitutional rights will not invalidate a plea unless the defendant thereby suffered prejudice.[State v. Nero (1990), 56 Ohio St.3d 106, ] 108, 564 N.E.2d 474. The test for prejudice is 'whether the plea would have otherwise been made.' Id. Under the substantial-compliance standard, we review the totality of circumstances surrounding [the defendant's] plea and determine whether he subjectively understood [the effect of his plea]. See, State v. Sarkozy, 117 Ohio St.3d 86, 2008-Ohio-509 at ¶ 19-20.

103 Ohio St.3d 85, 2004-Ohio-4415, 814 N.E.2d 51, ¶12.

         ISSUE ...


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