State v. Dixon, 29324

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtTUCKER, P.J.
Citation2022 Ohio 2051
Docket Number29324
Decision Date17 June 2022
PartiesSTATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee v. WILLIAM DIXON Defendant-Appellant

2022-Ohio-2051

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.

WILLIAM DIXON Defendant-Appellant

No. 29324

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

June 17, 2022


Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 2005-CR-4213/4

MATHIAS H. HECK, JR., by ANDREW T. FRENCH, Atty. Reg. No. 0069384, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office, Appellate Division, Montgomery County Courts Building, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee

WILLIAM DIXON, Inmate No. A529-169, Toledo Correctional Institution, Defendant-Appellant, Pro Se

OPINION

TUCKER, P.J.

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{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant William Dixon appeals pro se from an order of the Montgomery Court of Common Pleas denying his post-conviction motion to withdraw his plea and to vacate his conviction. For the reasons set forth below, the order will be affirmed.

I. Facts and Procedural History

{¶ 2} This is Dixon's eighth appeal in his criminal case. We have previously summarized the facts and procedural background as follows:

In 2005, Dixon was one of four people who acted in concert to rob a residence on Lynnaway Drive in Dayton, Ohio. The resident of the property was able to prevent the robbery, but was shot and injured by one of Dixon's co-conspirators in the process. Dixon and his co-conspirators fled the scene after the attempted robbery, but were later arrested and indicted for complicity to commit aggravated robbery complicity to commit aggravated burglary, complicity to commit felonious assault, and three attendant firearm specifications
By the time Dixon's case went to trial, his co-conspirators had already pled guilty to the indicted charges and were serving their respective prison sentences. Prior to his trial, Dixon filed two motions to suppress and several pro se motions, all of which the trial court overruled. On the first day of trial, the trial court also overruled a last-minute request by Dixon to retain
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different counsel. Later on, Dixon moved for a mistrial twice in response to the State presenting witness testimony indicating that he had engaged in prior robberies. However, the trial court overruled those motions as well.
In proceeding with trial, the State presented evidence showing that Dixon had planned the robbery, purchased the clothing worn during the robbery, drawn a map of the area around the Lynnaway residence, led his co-conspirators to the Lynnaway residence, and provided the weapon and ammunition used during the robbery attempt. In light of this evidence, the jury found Dixon guilty of all the indicted charges and specifications.
Following the jury's verdict, the trial court sentenced Dixon to an aggregate term of 21 years in prison. Dixon then appealed from his conviction and sentence claiming: (1) the trial court erred in imposing consecutive, maximum sentences; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in denying his last-minute request to replace counsel; (3) the trial court abused its discretion in failing to declare a mistrial; (4) his convictions were against the manifest weight of the evidence; and (5) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. In support of his ineffective assistance claim, Dixon alleged that his trial counsel denied him his right to testify at trial and failed to interview and subpoena key defense witnesses. We rejected all of Dixon's claims and affirmed his conviction and sentence. See State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 21823, 2008-Ohio-755 (Dixon I).
While his appeal in Dixon I was pending, Dixon filed a petition for
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postconviction relief with the trial court. In the petition, Dixon raised several claims, including the same ineffective assistance claims raised in his direct appeal. Dixon also raised a claim of prosecutorial misconduct alleging that the State knowingly presented false testimony and withheld exculpatory evidence at trial. After our decision in Dixon I was issued, the trial court denied Dixon's petition for postconviction relief, and Dixon appealed. On appeal, we determined that the claims raised in Dixon's petition for postconviction relief either lacked merit or were barred by res judicata. Accordingly, we affirmed the trial court's judgment denying Dixon's petition. See State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 23592, 2010-Ohio-2635 (Dixon II).
Five years after our decision in Dixon II, Dixon filed five pro se motions with the trial court entitled: (1) "Motion of Notice of Brief"; (2) "Motion to Submit Brief and Three Appendices"; (3) "Motion to Seal Records and Proceedings and Motion for New Trial"; (4) "Motion for Summary Judgment"; and (5) "Motion for New Trial for the New Evidence." The trial court overruled all five motions in a single order, and Dixon thereafter appealed.
In [his] third appeal, Dixon raised several claims, including the same claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel that he raised in Dixon II. Dixon also claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a witness list and pertinent motions such as a motion to
4
change venue, a motion to transfer the case to another judge, and a motion to determine witness reliability. Dixon further claimed that his trial counsel paid a private investigator to threaten witnesses. After reviewing the matter, we once again found that Dixon's claims either lacked merit or were barred by res judicata. Therefore, we affirmed the trial court's order overruling Dixon's five pro se motions. See State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 26873, 2016-Ohio-5538 (Dixon III).
Approximately eight months after our decision in Dixon III, Dixon filed a pro se motion for relief from judgment with the trial court. In support of this motion, Dixon argued that his sentence was void due to the trial court's failure to merge allied offenses of similar import at sentencing. The trial court, however, denied the motion on grounds that res judicata applied to Dixon's allied offenses claim. Dixon appealed, and we agreed that the allied offenses claim was barred by res judicata since it could have been, but was not, raised on direct appeal. See State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 27652, 2018-Ohio-192 (Dixon IV).
A month after our decision in Dixon IV, Dixon filed a pro se "Motion to Vacate a Void Sentence Per Criminal Rule 52(B)." Shortly thereafter, Dixon filed a supplement to that motion. The trial court denied both motions on grounds that the arguments raised therein were previously rejected on appeal and barred by res judicata. Dixon thereafter appealed from the trial court's order.
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During [his] fifth appeal, Dixon once again argued that the trial court erred in failing to merge allied offenses and by imposing consecutive sentences. Dixon also challenged the disparity between his sentence and the sentences received by his co-conspirators. In addition, Dixon argued that his trial and appellate counsels were ineffective for failing to properly raise the aforementioned sentencing issues at trial and on direct appeal. Dixon further argued that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support his convictions, the State committed prosecutorial misconduct at trial, and the trial court was biased against him because it falsely believed he was anti-Semitic based upon a statement made during sentencing. We rejected each of Dixon's claims on res judicata grounds since the claims were either raised in one of Dixon's prior appeals or could have been raised on direct appeal. Accordingly, we affirmed the trial court's order denying Dixon's motion to vacate sentence and the corresponding supplemental motion. See State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 27961, 2018-Ohio-4138 (Dixon V).

State v. Dixon, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 27991, 2019-Ohio-230, ¶ 2-10 (Dixon VI).

{¶ 3} Dixon VI involved a 2018 pro se filing by Dixon entitled "Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence" and a supplement to that motion. The trial court denied the motions on res judicata grounds. Dixon appealed from that order, raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct. He also claimed he was denied due process of law due to judicial bias and the disparity between his sentence and the

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sentences received by his co-conspirators. We affirmed the trial court's judgment, finding that all of Dixon's arguments were barred by the doctrine of res judicata. Dixon VI.

{¶ 4} In 2019, Dixon filed a petition for post-conviction relief in which he argued his sentence was void because the trial court had failed to merge allied sentences and improperly imposed consecutive sentences. The trial court denied the petition as barred by res judicata. On appeal, Dixon argued "that he has been improperly convicted, and wrongfully imprisoned, because the incident at Shoshana Harbor's house in June 2005 'was a failed robbery" during which he himself did not brandish or use a firearm....

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