Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case Nos. CR-17-622296-C, CR-17-622961-C,
CR-18-624793-A, CR-18-625947-A, CR-18-627504-A,
CR-18-627844-B, CR-18-630756-B, and CR-18-632566-A
Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting
Attorney, and David Elias, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,
A. Stanton, Cuyahoga County Public Defender, and Robert
McCaleb and Jeffrey Gamso, Assistant Public Defenders, for
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. BOYLE, P.J.
1} Defendant-appellant, Aaron Lindsay, Jr.,
("Lindsay"), appeals the sentences that he received
in eight cases. He raises one assignment of error for our
The sentences imposed were contrary to law and violated due
process because the trial court's failure to articulate
its reasons is an abuse of discretion which makes impossible
any meaningful review and leads to the appearance of
2} Finding no merit to his arguments, we affirm.
Procedural History and Factual Background
3} Between October 30, 2017 and September 17, 2018,
Lindsay was indicted on 26 counts in eight
cases. Lindsay initially pleaded not guilty to
the charges in each case.
4} In January 2019, however, the parties appeared in
court for a change-of-plea hearing. The state explained at
the outset of the hearing that the plea offer included
"an agreed recommendation of all case numbers[, ]
incarceration time being between 10 and 16 years at the
court's discretion." The state then reviewed the
plea offer on the record.
5} The trial court stated, "I believe that as
part of this plea agreement, the defendant agrees that these
are mandatory sentences, and that there will be no
opportunity for judicial release as well as agreeing to no
contact with any of the victims in these cases." Also as
part of the plea agreement, Lindsay agreed to pay $251 to one
of the victims. Defense counsel and the state agreed with the
court that its statement was accurate.
The trial court informed Lindsay that it was accepting the
recommended sentencing range, stating, "So, your
sentence will be between 10 and 16 years, okay? So you have
my assurance that I'm not going to go over that 16 years.
Okay?" Lindsay responded "yes" to the
7} The court stated that Lindsay was 21 years old.
The court addressed Lindsay and engaged in the required plea
colloquy with him. Lindsay told the court that he graduated
from high school, was not under the influence of any drugs or
alcohol, was not on probation or postrelease control, and no
one threatened him or forced him to enter into the plea
8} At that point, the trial court told Lindsay again
that it would impose a sentence that was between 10 and 16
years in prison and asked Lindsay, "Has anyone told you
a certain number between those numbers?" Lindsay
replied, "Yes," and then told the court,
"ten." The court told Lindsay that it understood
that he wanted 10 years but that his sentence would be
between 10 and 16 years.
9} The court asked Lindsay if he was satisfied with
the representation he had received from his lawyer. Lindsay
responded, "No." The court asked why. Lindsay told
the court he did not know why. The court then explained:
Well, I need you to be satisfied, so you're looking at a
lot of time and a lot of counts on these cases, and I can
assure you that [defense counsel] has been up here working
this case with the prosecutor. So, if you have a problem with
how he's represented you, now is the time that we talk
about it. And you're ultimately the ...