State v. Miller

S
[Cite as State v. Miller, 2021-Ohio-2424.] IN THE COURT OF APPEALS FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO STATE OF OHIO, : APPEAL NO. C-200275 TRIAL NO. 19CRB-19160 Plaintiff-Appellee, : vs. : O P I N I O N. JACOB MILLER, : Defendant-Appellant. : Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Municipal Court Judgment Appealed From Is: Reversed and Cause Remanded Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: July 16, 2021 Andrew W. Garth, Interim City Solicitor, William T. Horsley, Chief Prosecuting Attorney, and Chris Konitzer, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee, Eppley Legal Group and Mark C. Eppley, for Defendant-Appellant. OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS ZAYAS, Presiding Judge. {¶1} Jacob Miller appeals from the judgment of the Hamilton County Municipal Court vacating his guilty plea to the amended charge of disorderly conduct. For the following reasons, we reverse the trial court’s judgment and remand the cause to the trial court. Factual Background {¶2} On July 28, 2019, Jacob Miller was charged with assault and entered a plea of not guilty. On December 12, 2019, the city and Miller reached a plea agreement whereby the state amended the charge to disorderly conduct, and Miller entered a guilty plea. The city represented that the victim was in agreement with the reduced charge. The trial court accepted Miller’s plea, orally found him guilty, ordered a victim-impact statement and set the matter for sentencing. Although the court journalized the guilty plea to the amended charge, the entry did not include a finding of guilt. {¶3} At the sentencing hearing, the city sought a continuance to discuss restitution with the victim. Before granting the request, the trial court acknowledged that Miller “knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily entered a guilty plea to a charge related to this incident.” The case was continued for sentencing and a victim-impact statement. {¶4} At the next hearing, the court again noted that Miller had pled guilty to disorderly conduct and the case was set for sentencing. The court questioned the victim to ensure the city had consulted her about the plea agreement. After consulting with the prosecutor, the victim assured the court that she understood and agreed with the plea and was in favor of continuing with sentencing. The court then 2 OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS asked the prosecutor why the city had entered into the agreement. The prosecutor responded that he was not privy to the original agreement, but based on his conversation with the victim, the city wished to proceed with the sentencing. {¶5} After an unrecorded sidebar, the trial court expressed its concerns that the facts contained in the victim-impact statement alleged conduct that exceeded the disorderly-conduct charge for engaging in fighting and threatening harm or violent or turbulent behavior. Based on these concerns, the court determined that, pursuant to Crim.R. 32, “I’m going to withdraw the previously entered plea of guilty to the amended charge of disorderly conduct” and set the case for trial. {¶6} Miller pled no contest to the reinstated assault charge. The court …

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