Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Defiance
from Defiance County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
R. Begley, Appellant
Russell R. Herman for Appellee
Defendant-appellant, Johnny R. Begley ("Begley"),
appeals the June 24, 2019 judgment of the Defiance County
Court of Common Pleas denying his "Motion to
Vacate/Correct Void Judgments." For the reasons that
follow, we affirm.
On November 4, 2016, the Defiance County Grand Jury indicted
Begley on three counts: Count One of involuntary manslaughter
in violation of R.C. 2903.04(A), a first-degree felony; Count
Two of trafficking in heroin in violation of R.C.
2925.03(A)(2), (C)(6)(c), a fourth-degree felony; and Count
Three of possession of heroin in violation of R.C.
2925.11(A), (C)(6)(b), a fourth-degree felony. (Doc. No. 1).
Count Two included a forfeiture specification under R.C.
2941.1417(A). (Id.). On November 17, 2016, Begley
appeared for arraignment and pleaded not guilty to the counts
of the indictment. (See Doc. No. 12).
A change of plea hearing was held on December 21, 2016. (Doc.
No. 12). Under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement,
Begley withdrew his previous pleas of not guilty and pleaded
guilty to Counts One and Two as well as the forfeiture
specification. (Id.). In exchange, the State agreed
to move for dismissal of Count Three. (Id.). The
trial court accepted Begley's guilty pleas and found him
guilty. (Id.). The trial court also granted the
State's motion to dismiss Count Three and dismissed the
same. (Id.). The trial court then proceeded
immediately to sentencing. (Id.). The trial court
sentenced Begley to 4 years in prison on Count One and 11
months in prison on Count Two and ordered that Begley's
sentences be served consecutively for an aggregate term of 4
years and 11 months' imprisonment. (Id.). The
trial court filed its judgment entry of conviction and
sentence on January 11, 2017. (Id.). Begley did not
appeal his conviction or sentence.
On November 8, 2017, Begley filed a motion for judicial
release. (Doc. No. 16). On January 5, 2018, the trial court
granted Begley's motion for judicial release. (Doc. No.
18). The trial court suspended the balance of Begley's 4
year and 11 month prison sentence, reserved the right to
reimpose Begley's prison sentence, and placed Begley on
community control for a period of 4 years. (Id.).
On August 15, 2018, the State filed a motion to revoke
Begley's judicial release and reimpose his suspended
prison sentence. (Doc. No. 22). In its motion, the State
alleged that Begley had violated the terms of his community
control by providing a urine sample that tested positive for
methamphetamine, cocaine, and opiates. (Id.). The
State also alleged that Begley had failed to report to his
supervising officer. (Id.).
On September 26, 2018, the trial court held a hearing on the
State's motion to revoke Begley's judicial release.
(Doc. No. 26). At the hearing, Begley admitted that he
violated the terms of his community control. (Id.).
The trial court accepted Begley's admission, found the
allegations made by the State in its motion to be true, and
proceeded immediately to disposition. (Id.). The
trial court revoked Begley's judicial release and
reimposed his 4 year and 11 month prison sentence, with
credit for 540 days served. (Id.). Begley did not
appeal the revocation of his judicial release or the
reimposition of his prison sentence.
On March 22, 2019, Begley filed a "Motion to
Vacate/Correct Void Judgements." (Doc. No. 29). In his
motion, Begley alleged that the trial court failed to make
the findings required by R.C. 2929.20(J) when it granted his
motion for judicial release. (Id.). He argued that
the trial court's judgment granting his motion for
judicial release is consequently void and that his community
control was therefore invalid. (Id.). Begley asked
the trial court to vacate its judgment granting his motion
for judicial release, vacate its judgment granting the
State's motion to revoke his judicial release because he
"could never have been on community control, as there
was no statutory authority," and "reinstate * * *
community control upon being granted judicial release
properly." (Id.). On May 10, 2019, Begley filed
an amendment to his "Motion to Vacate/Correct Void
Judgements." (Doc. No. 33).
On May 17, 2019, the State filed a memorandum in opposition
to Begley's motion. (Doc. No. 34). On June 3, 2019,
Begley filed a motion to strike the State's memorandum in
opposition. (Doc. No. 39). In his motion to strike, Begley
argued that the State's memorandum should be stricken
because it was not filed within 10 days after the filing of
his "Motion to Vacate/Correct Void Judgements" as
required by R.C. 2953.21(E). (Id.).
On June 24, 2019, the trial court denied Begley's
"Motion to Vacate/Correct Void Judgements" on
grounds that his arguments were barred by the doctrine of res
judicata. (Doc. No. 40). The trial court did not explicitly
deny Begley's motion to strike. (See id).
On July 22, 2019, Begley filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. No.
42). He raises two ...