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State v. Morris

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

December 31, 2019

STATE OF OHIO Appellee
v.
DAVID C. MORRIS Appellant

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CR-1987-04-0423-A

          DAVID C. MORRIS, pro se, Appellant.

          SHERRI BEVAN WALSH, Prosecuting Attorney, and JACQUENETTE S. CORGAN, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN JUDGE

         {¶1} Appellant, David Morris, appeals an order that denied his "Motion for De Novo Resentencing to Correct Void Sentence." This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} In 1987, Mr. Morris pleaded guilty to five charges of aggravated robbery and one charge of kidnapping. A three-judge panel found him guilty of two charges of aggravated murder, one charge of attempted aggravated murder, and one charge of carrying a concealed weapon. On September 3, 1987, the trial court sentenced him to prison "for the remainder of his natural life" for the aggravated murder charges and imposed significant prison terms for each of the other charges as well. (Emphasis omitted.) Mr. Morris appealed, and this Court affirmed his convictions. State v. Morris, 9th Dist. Summit No. 13366, 1988 WL 40387 (Apr. 27, 1988). On November 6, 2008, Mr. Morris petitioned the trial court for postconviction relief. The trial court dismissed the petition, and this Court affirmed, concluding that the petition was untimely. State v. Morris, 9th Dist. Summit No. 24613, 2009-Ohio-3183. On March 22, 2019, Mr. Morris filed a "Motion for De Novo Resentencing to Correct Void Sentence," in which he argued that his sentences for aggravated murder were void because the trial court did not have the authority to sentence him to prison "for the remainder of his natural life." (Emphasis omitted.) The trial court denied his motion, and Mr. Morris filed this appeal.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW IN[] APPLYING RES JUDICATA TO THIS CASE TO DENY RELIEF.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 2

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AS A MATTER OF LAW IN REFUSING TO VACATE THE VOID SENTENCE IN THIS CASE AND CONDUCT A DE NOVO RESENTENCING, DENYING APPELLANT DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

         {¶3} Mr. Morris' assignments of error argue that the trial court erred by denying his post-sentence motion. Because we conclude that the trial court could not consider his motion, his two assignments of error are addressed together.

         {¶4} This Court must first consider the nature of the motion at issue in this ...


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