Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-18-633490-A
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and Blaise D. Thomas, Assistant Prosecuting
Attorney, for appellee.
A Rein, for appellant.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. GALLAGHER, JUDGE
1} Defendant-appellant Courtney Sprachmann was
charged with two counts of obstructing justice for twice
obstructing a homicide investigation. Sprachmann pleaded no
contest to violations of R.C. 2921.32(A)(3) and
2921.32(A)(5), both third-degree felonies. The court found
her guilty and sentenced Sprachmann to 36 months in prison
for each count. It ordered consecutive sentences for a total
of 72 months in prison. We affirm Sprachmann's
convictions and sentence, but remand the case for a nunc pro
tunc entry reflecting that the court waived court costs.
Background and Procedural History
2} As discussed at the change of plea and sentencing
hearings, Sprachmann's obstructing justice counts arose
from her efforts to disrupt a homicide investigation. One
afternoon in September 2018, Sprachmann invited her
boyfriend, Dettrick Walker, to a gathering at the
victim's house. Sprachmann knew that Walker and the
victim did not get along and that Walker was not welcome at
the victim's house.
3} An altercation ensued between the victim and
Walker. Walker drew a firearm and shot the victim several
times, killing him. Walker fled and Sprachmann remained at
4} Police arrived at the scene and proceeded to
investigate the crime. A detective interviewed Sprachmann
during which Sprachmann gave a materially false narrative of
the events leading to the shooting in an attempt to shield
Walker and provide him a potential defense. She told the
detective that the shooting occurred in a different room than
it did, claimed that she had witnessed it when she had not
and represented that the victim was himself armed.
5} Officers asked Sprachmann to let them know if she
knew, or learned, of Walker's location. Instead, and
substantiating the second obstructing justice count,
Sprachmann communicated with Walker and sent him text
messages informing him that he was a suspect and that the
police were looking for him. She instructed him to turn his
phone off and told him to stay away. Approximately two days
later, police located Walker at his grandfather's home,
in bed with Sprachmann.
6} Before Sprachmann pleaded no contest, the court
conducted a Crim.R. 11 colloquy. The court explained the
penalty range that Sprachmann faced including the possibility
of consecutive sentences. Sprachmann confirmed that she
understood and did not have any questions and she proceeded
to plead no contest.
7} The state provided the factual basis underlying
the two counts. The court confirmed with Sprachmann's
counsel that the state's account comported with the
discovery provided. The court accepted Sprachmann's no
contest pleas and found her guilty of both offenses.
8} Prior to sentencing, Sprachmann filed a
"motion to disqualify counsel" on the basis that
"counsel has a conflict of interest or is otherwise
disqualified from participation in the case." The
attached memorandum contained the statement that "I
would like to withdraw my plea deal due to ineffective
counsel asap." The court held a hearing on the motion
and described it as "a motion to disqualify counsel and
withdraw a guilty plea." At the hearing, the court gave
Sprachmann the opportunity to substantiate her claims. The
court denied the motion.
9} At sentencing, the court addressed Sprachmann and
discussed the factors it considered in determining the