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State v. Hall

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 12, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
YVONNE HALL, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-18-628273-A

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Fallon Radigan, Assistant County Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Russell S. Bensing, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          LARRY A. JONES, SR, JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Yvonne Hall ("Hall") appeals the trial court's denial of her motion to withdraw her guilty plea and defense counsel's motion to withdraw as counsel. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} In 2018, Hall was charged with two counts of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of kidnapping. The victim was the five-year-old child of Hall's partner, with whom she lived. As charged, Hall was facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Hall entered into a plea bargain with the state and pleaded guilty to one count of sexual battery and one count of gross sexual imposition.

         {¶ 3} Prior to sentencing, Hall's attorney filed a motion to withdraw as counsel. The attorney also filed a motion to withdraw Hall's guilty plea. At the sentencing hearing, Hall told the court that she wanted to withdraw her guilty plea because she was innocent and her attorney had told her that if she pleaded guilty, she might get probation. She expressed that her attorney was discussing the case with her father, who had retained the attorney, and the attorney had pressured her into pleading guilty. Hall's attorney told the court that he had explained to his client that the case had many difficulties and he had counseled his client against taking the case to trial. The state objected to Hall's motion to withdraw her plea.

         {¶ 4} The court denied both motions and sentenced Hall to eight years in prison, five years of postrelease control, and classified her as a Tier III sex offender.

         {¶ 5} Hall filed a notice of appeal and raises two assignments of error:

I. The trial court erred in denying defense counsel's motion to withdraw.
II. The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to withdraw her guilty plea.

         {¶ 6} In the first assignment of error, Hall contends that the trial court erred when it denied her attorney's motion to withdraw as counsel of record.

         {¶ 7} Pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 10, Article I of the Ohio Constitution, a criminal defendant has the right to counsel. State v. Milligan,40 Ohio St.3d 341, 533 N.E.2d 724 (1988), paragraph one of the syllabus. A criminal defendant does not, however, have the right to counsel with whom he or she has a rapport or with whom he or she can develop a meaningful lawyer and client relationship. State v. Henness,79 Ohio St.3d 53, 65, 679 N.E.2d 686 (1997). "Under the federal and state constitutions, the ...


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