State v. Bickley, 010719 OHCA3, 14-18-05

Docket Nº:14-18-05, 14-18-06
Opinion Judge:WILLAMOWSKI, J.
Party Name:STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, v. WENDY BICKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT. STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, v. WENDY BICKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
Attorney:Natalie J. Bahan for Appellant Andrew M. Bigler for Appellee
Judge Panel:SHAW and PRESTON, J.J., concur.
Case Date:January 07, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Ohio
 
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2019-Ohio-16

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

WENDY BICKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

WENDY BICKLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Nos. 14-18-05, 14-18-06

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Union

January 7, 2019

Appeals from Union County Common Pleas Court Trial Court Nos. 17-CR-0147 and 17-CR-0146

Natalie J. Bahan for Appellant

Andrew M. Bigler for Appellee

OPINION

WILLAMOWSKI, J.

{¶1} Defendant-appellant Wendy Jo Bickley ("Bickley") appeals the judgments of the Union County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that the trial court committed several errors during sentencing. For the reasons set forth below, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

Facts and Procedural History

{¶2} On February 27, 2017, Bickley was at home with her husband, Jason Bickley ("Jason"). Tr. 5. She was aware that her husband had ingested heroin that evening, but, when she discovered that Jason was unconscious and having difficulty breathing, she did not immediately call for emergency medical assistance. Tr. 5-6. At some point, she was in contact with Jason's mother, who urged Bickley to call for help. Tr. 12. Eventually, Bickley called 9-1-1. Tr. 12. Before the emergency personnel arrived, Bickley deleted a number of incriminating text messages. Tr. 23. At the hospital, Jason showed no signs of brain activity and was placed on life support. Tr. 6. While Jason was still in the hospital, Bickley went to a pharmacy and had Jason's prescriptions for Hydrocodone filled. Tr. 6, 37. Jason died on February 28, 2017. Tr. 37.

{¶3} On July 28, 2017, Bickley was indicted for one count of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1). Doc. A1.1 This charge formed the basis of case 17-CR-0146. Doc. A1. On July 28, 2017, Bickley was also indicted for one count of deception to obtain a dangerous drug in violation of R.C. 2925.22(B)(2)(c); one count of aggravated possession of drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A); and one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1). Doc. B1. These charges formed the basis of case 17-CR-0147. Doc. B1. On January 19, 2018, Bickley pled guilty to one count of tampering with evidence in case 17-CR-0146 and one count of deception to obtain a dangerous drug in case 17-CR-0147. Doc. A27, B27.

{¶4} On January 31, 2018, Bickley appeared before the trial court for sentencing. Tr. 4. At the hearing, a victim advocate read two victim impact statements. Tr. 13, 15. The first was from the mother of one of Jason's children. Tr. 13. The second statement was from Jason's mother. Tr. 15. The trial court then ordered that Bickley be placed on community control for five years for the crime of tampering with evidence in case 17-CR-0146. Doc. A33. The trial court then sentenced Bickley to six years in prison for the crime of deception to obtain a dangerous drug in case 17-CR-0147. Doc. B29. The trial court ordered that the period of community control was to be tolled until Bickley completed her prison term. Doc. A33.

{¶5} Appellant filed her notice of appeal on February 21, 2018. Doc. A37, B33. On appeal, Bickley raises the following assignments of error:

First Assignment of Error

The trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences by not considering the factors as enumerated in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4).

Second Assignment of Error

The trial court erred in imposing a prison sentence to run consecutive to a community control sanction.

Third Assignment of Error

The trial court committed prejudicial error when it relied on victim impact testimony and other information in sentencing.

First Assignment of Error

{¶6} Bickley argues that the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences without making the statutory findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4).

Legal Standard

{¶7} R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) requires trial courts to make certain statutory findings in specified situations and reads as follows: (4) If multiple prison terms are imposed on an offender for convictions of multiple offenses, the court may require the offender to serve the prison terms consecutively if the court finds that the consecutive service is necessary to protect the public from future crime or to punish the offender and that consecutive sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the offender's conduct and to the danger the offender poses to the public, and if the court also finds any of the following:

(a) The offender committed one or more of the multiple offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or sentencing, was under a sanction imposed pursuant to section 2929.16, 2929.17, or 2929.18 of the Revised Code, or was under post-release control for a prior offense.

(b) At least two of the multiple offenses were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct, and the harm caused by two or more of the multiple offenses so committed was so great or unusual that no single prison term for any of the offenses committed as part of any of the courses of conduct adequately reflects the seriousness of the offender's...

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