Appeals Court Vacates Man’s Sentence After Plea Deal Violation
The Sixth District Court of Appeals vacated a Wakeman man’s convictions and sentence after finding the state violated a plea agreement by re-filing charges it agreed to dismiss.
Huron County sherriff’s deputies arrested Robert M. Tite on November 30, 2011 after finding him intoxicated with two loaded weapons following a hunting trip. He was charged with six misdemeanors. Under a plea deal, he entered a no contest plea to two charges. In exchange, the state agreed to dismiss four charges. Tite appealed his sentence to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, and the state re-filed the four charges. Tite filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied by the Norwalk Municipal Court. Subsequently, a jury found him guilty of each of the four charges.
Judge Stephen A. Yarbrough authored the unanimous decision that reversed the judgment of the trial court.
Judge Yarbrough wrote that Tite “contends that the state’s offer to dismiss these charges persuaded him to plead no contest to carrying a concealed weapon and using weapons while intoxicated.”
“In response, the state argues, as it did in the trial court, that it is not bound by the plea agreement because Tite breached the agreement when he appealed his initial sentence.”
“While we are mindful of the state’s expectation that the plea agreement would constitute a ‘final resolution of all matters,’ the record does not support the state’s assertion that the plea agreement required Tite to forgo his right to appeal,” Judge Yarbrough wrote.
“Clearly, in exchange for Tite’s no contest plea, the state agreed to dismiss all charges against Tite except the carrying a concealed weapon and using weapons while intoxicated charges,” Yarbrough wrote. “The state failed to discuss any additional requirement that Tite was to forgo his right to appeal. Further, the fact that the plea agreement would be revoked if Tite expressed his right to appeal was never mentioned.”
He concluded that “when the state re-filed those charges, it violated the terms of the plea agreement. Since the state breached the plea agreement, the trial court abused its discretion when it denied Tite’s motion to dismiss.”
Judges Mark L. Pietrykowski and Arlene Singer concurred in the opinion.
State v. Tite, 2013-Ohio-1361
Criminal Appeal From: Norwalk Municipal Court
Judgment Appealed From Is: Reversed and Vacated
Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: April 5, 2013
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