Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Convicted Murderer’s Appeal is Denied

A man serving a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend in Summit County had his appeal denied this week. The Ninth District Court of Appeals found insufficient support for Chad Cobb’s three claims.

In his first claim, Cobb argued that the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case because the prosecution “failed to establish that the death occurred in Summit County.” Ninth District Judge Eve Belfance wrote in the 3-0 decision that Cobb’s argument actually is one of venue, a fact that must be proven in criminal cases unless it is waived by the defendant. Judge Belfance said that is exactly what Cobb did when he made his guilty plea.

“The indictment issued in this case contained an allegation that all of the crimes occurred in Summit County. Therefore, because the indictment alleged that all the crimes occurred in Summit County, Mr. Cobb admitted that fact by pleading guilty,” according to Judge Belfance.

To Cobb’s claim that he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney did not show up for a preliminary hearing, Judge Belfance wrote, “Mr. Cobb has not explained how his counsel’s failure to appear at a hearing more than six months prior to his pleading guilty affected his decision to plead guilty, and we will not develop an argument for him.”

The appeals court also disagreed that Cobb’s constitutional rights were violated when his attorney withdrew and a court appointed attorney was assigned the case.

“Mr. Cobb has not cited any authority that a trial court permitting counsel to withdraw upon request interferes with a defendant’s right to counsel of his or her choice, nor has he developed any argument tying a failure to precisely follow the Rules of Professional Conduct to a deprivation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel,” Judge Belfance said.

Judges Beth Whitmore and Carla Moore agreed in the May 7 decision.

According to news reports, Cobb lured Ashley Biggs to her death in June 2012. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole by a Summit County Common Pleas Court judge in 2013.

State v. Cobb, 2014-Ohio-1923
Opinion: http://sc.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/9/2014/2014-ohio-1923.pdf
Criminal Appeal From: Summit County Court of Common Pleas
Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed
Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: May 7, 2014

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