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State v. Begley

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Defiance

December 23, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHNNY R. BEGLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

          Appeal from Defiance County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 16-CR-12687.

          Johnny R. Begley, Appellant

          Russell R. Herman for Appellee

          OPINION

          PRESTON, J.

         {¶1} 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.

         {¶2} 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).

         {¶3} 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.

         {¶4} 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.).

         {¶5} On August 15, 2018, the State filed a motion to revoke Begley's judicial release and reimpose his suspended prison sentence.[1] (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.).

         {¶6} 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.

         {¶7} 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).

         {¶8} 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.).

         {¶9} 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).

         {¶10} On July 22, 2019, Begley filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 42). He raises two ...


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