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Date: 12-05-2020

Case Style:

STATE OF OHIO v. DURAN T. TYSON, JR.

Case Number: 1-19-72

Judge: VERNON L. PRESTON

Court: IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT ALLEN COUNTY

Plaintiff's Attorney: Jana E. Emerick

Defendant's Attorney:


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Description:

Lima, OH - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant Duran T. Tyson, Jr. with appealing the November 4, 2019 judgment of sentence of the Allen County Court of Common Plea.




{¶2} This case arises from a May 30, 2019 incident in which Tyson and
another male, Zyshon Stiggers (“Stiggers”), robbed a gas station at gunpoint in
Lima, Ohio. The following day, Deputy Barry Friemoth (“Deputy Friemoth”), an
officer with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, was investigating the incident near
Tyson’s residence when he observed Tyson walking in the area. Deputy Friemoth
announced that he was a law enforcement officer and began to approach Tyson. In
response, Tyson produced a gun and fired multiple shots at Deputy Friemoth before
fleeing to his residence. Deputy Friemoth was not physically injured during the
encounter. Shortly thereafter, Tyson was taken into law enforcement custody.
{¶3} On June 5, 2019, a ten count complaint was filed against Tyson in the
Allen County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division. (Doc. No. 1). The matter
was bound over to the Allen County Court of Common Pleas, and on September 12,
2019, the Allen County Grand Jury indicted Tyson on eight counts: Count One of
aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), (C), a first-degree felony;
Count Two of attempted murder in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and R.C. 2903.02(A),
(D), a first-degree felony; Count Three of felonious assault in violation of R.C.
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2903.11(A)(2), (D)(1)(a), a first-degree felony; Count Four of improperly
discharging a firearm at or into a habitation or a school safety zone in violation of
R.C. 2923.161(A)(1), (C), a second-degree felony; Count Five of discharge of a
firearm at or near prohibited premises in violation of R.C. 2923.162(A)(3), (C)(2),
a third-degree felony; Count Six of receiving stolen property in violation of R.C.
2913.51(A), (C), a fourth-degree felony; Count Seven of carrying a concealed
weapon in violation of R.C. 2923.12(A)(2), (F)(1), a fourth-degree felony; and
Count Eight of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12(A)(1), (B), a
third-degree felony. (Doc. Nos. 1, 2). Counts One, Two, and Three contained a
firearm specification under R.C. 2941.145(A). (Doc. No. 2). On September 20,
2019, Tyson appeared for arraignment and entered pleas of not guilty to the counts
in the indictment. (Doc. No. 12).
{¶4} On October 1, 2019, under a negotiated plea agreement, Tyson
withdrew his pleas of not guilty and entered pleas of guilty to Counts One, Two,
and Seven, as well as the specifications associated with Counts One and Two. (Doc.
Nos. 18, 19). In exchange, the State agreed to recommend dismissal of the
remaining counts in the indictment. (Id.). The trial court accepted Tyson’s guilty
pleas, found him guilty of Counts One, Two, and Seven and the associated
specifications, and ordered a presentence investigation (“PSI”). (Doc. No. 19). In
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addition, the trial court dismissed the remaining counts of the indictment. (Id.).
That same day, the trial court filed its judgment entry of conviction. (Id.).
{¶5} On November 4, 2019, the trial court sentenced Tyson to a prison term
of 9 to 13 ½ years as to Count One, a prison term of 9 to 13 ½ years as to Count
Two, and a definite term of 12 months in prison as to Count Seven. (Doc. No. 26).
As to the firearm specifications, the trial court sentenced Tyson to a mandatory
prison term of three years as to the specification associated with Count One and a
mandatory prison term of three years as to the specification associated with Count
Two. (Id.). The trial court ordered that the sentences and specifications be served
consecutively to each other for an aggregate term of six years’ mandatory
imprisonment plus 19 to 23 ½ years’ imprisonment. (Id.). That same day, the trial
court filed its judgment entry of sentence. (Id.).
{¶6} On December 2, 2019, Tyson filed his notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 32).
He raises two assignments of error for our review, which we address together.
Assignment of Error No. I
The trial court erred in sentencing Mr. Tyson to an indefinite
term of incarceration of 25-29.5 years.
Assignment of Error No. II
The trial court erred in sentencing Mr. Tyson to serve consecutive
sentences.
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{¶7} In his assignments of error, Tyson argues that his sentence is not
supported by the record and that it is otherwise contrary to law. Specifically, in his
first assignment of error, Tyson argues that the trial court erred by imposing a
sentence of 25 to 29.5 years of imprisonment. Tyson argues that his sentence is
unsupported by the record and inconsistent with the provisions of R.C. 2929.11 and
2929.12. Tyson further argues that his sentence is unconstitutional because he was
a juvenile when he was sentenced. He claims that his sentence is “tantamount to a
life sentence” and that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of
the Eighth Amendment. In his second assignment of error, Tyson alleges that the
record does not support the trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentences.
{¶8} “Under R.C. 2953.08(G)(2), an appellate court will reverse a sentence
‘only if it determines by clear and convincing evidence that the record does not
support the trial court’s findings under relevant statutes or that the sentence is
otherwise contrary to law.’” State v. Nienberg, 3d Dist. Putnam Nos. 12-16-15 and
12-16-16, 2017-Ohio-2920, ¶ 8, quoting State v. Marcum, 146 Ohio St.3d 516,
2016-Ohio-1002, ¶ 1. “Clear and convincing evidence is that ‘“which will produce
in the mind of the trier of facts a firm belief or conviction as to the facts sought to
be established.”’” Id., quoting Marcum at ¶ 22, quoting Cross v. Ledford, 161 Ohio
St. 469 (1954), paragraph three of the syllabus.
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{¶9} We begin with Tyson’s first assignment of error, in which he argues
that the trial court erred by imposing an aggregate sentence of 25 to 29 ½ years in
prison. “‘Trial courts have full discretion to impose any sentence within the
statutory range.’” State v. Smith, 3d Dist. Seneca No. 13-15-17, 2015-Ohio-4225, ¶
9, quoting State v. Noble, 3d Dist. Logan No. 8-14-06, 2014-Ohio-5485, ¶ 9, citing
State v. Saldana, 3d Dist. Putnam No. 12-12-09, 2013-Ohio-1122, ¶ 20. As a fourthdegree felony, carrying a concealed weapon carries a sanction of 6 to 18 months’
imprisonment. R.C. 2923.12(A)(2), (F)(1); R.C. 2929.14(A)(4). As first-degree
felonies, aggravated robbery and attempted murder carry a stated minimum term of
3 to 11 years. R.C. 2911.01(A)(1), (C); R.C. 2923.02; R.C. 2903.02(A), (D); R.C.
2929.14(A)(1)(a). Each firearm specification carried a three-year mandatory prison
term. R.C. 2941.145(A). The trial court also ordered all of Tyson’s sentences to
run consecutively. Because (1) Tyson was sentenced on more than one felony, (2)
aggravated robbery and attempted murder are qualifying felonies of the first degree,
and (3) the trial court ordered that Tyson’s prison terms be served consecutively,
Tyson’s maximum sentence, not including the firearm specifications, is the sum of
the minimum terms imposed for Tyson’s aggravated robbery and attempted murder
convictions, the definite term imposed for Tyson’s carrying a concealed weapon
conviction, plus fifty per cent of the longest definite term for the most serious felony
being sentenced. R.C. 2929.144(B)(2), (4).
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{¶10} The trial court sentenced Tyson to 3 years’ mandatory imprisonment
for each of the firearm specifications. The trial court further sentenced Tyson to a
minimum stated term of 9 years’ imprisonment for first-degree felony aggravated
robbery, a minimum stated term of 9 years’ imprisonment for first-degree felony
attempted murder, and a definite sentence of 12 months for fourth-degree felony
carrying a concealed weapon. Thus, the trial court sentenced Tyson to a minimum
term of 19 years’ imprisonment to a maximum term of 23 ½ years’ imprisonment
plus an additional 6 years’ imprisonment for the specifications. Accordingly, each
of Tyson’s individual sentences are within the corresponding statutory ranges.
Further, the consecutive sentences fall within the appropriate statutory ranges and
were appropriately calculated. “‘[A] sentence imposed within the statutory range is
“presumptively valid” if the [trial] court considered applicable sentencing factors.’”
Nienberg, 2017-Ohio-2920, at ¶ 10, quoting State v. Maggette, 3d Dist. Seneca No.
13-16-06, 2016-Ohio-5554, ¶ 31, quoting State v. Collier, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
95572, 2011-Ohio-2791, ¶ 15.
{¶11} R.C. 2929.11 provides, in pertinent part, that the “overriding purposes
of felony sentencing are to protect the public from future crime by the offender and
others, to punish the offender, and to promote the effective rehabilitation of the
offender using the minimum sanctions that the court determines accomplish those
purposes without imposing an unnecessary burden on state or local government
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resources.” R.C. 2929.11(A). To achieve the overriding purposes of felony
sentencing, R.C. 2929.11 directs courts to “consider the need for incapacitating the
offender, deterring the offender and others from future crime, rehabilitating the
offender, and making restitution to the victim of the offense, the public, or both.”
Id. In addition, R.C. 2929.11(B) instructs that a sentence imposed for a felony “shall
be reasonably calculated to achieve the three overriding purposes of felony
sentencing * * *, commensurate with and not demeaning to the seriousness of the
offender’s conduct and its impact upon the victim, and consistent with sentences
imposed for similar crimes committed by similar offenders.” “In accordance with
these principles, the trial court must consider the factors set forth in R.C.
2929.12(B)-(E) relating to the seriousness of the offender’s conduct and the
likelihood of the offender’s recidivism.” Smith at ¶ 10, citing R.C. 2929.12(A). “‘A
sentencing court has broad discretion to determine the relative weight to assign the
sentencing factors in R.C. 2929.12.’” Id. at ¶ 15, quoting State v. Brimacombe, 195
Ohio App.3d 524, 2011-Ohio-5032, ¶ 18 (6th Dist.), citing State v. Arnett, 88 Ohio
St.3d 208, 215 (2000).
{¶12} Here, it is clear from the record that the trial court sentenced Tyson
after considering the purposes of felony sentencing set forth in R.C. 2929.11(A) and
the R.C. 2929.12(B)-(E) factors relating to the seriousness of Tyson’s conduct and
the likelihood of his recidivism. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court discussed
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the R.C. 2929.12(B) factors and found that the victims of the attempted murder and
the aggravated robbery suffered “serious psychological harm” as a result of the
offenses. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 8-9). See R.C. 2929.12(B)(2). The trial court also
found that the aggravated robbery was committed as part of an organized criminal
activity. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9). See R.C. 2929.12(B)(7). Further, the trial court
stated that it considered the R.C. 2929.12(C) factors indicating that the offender’s
conduct is less serious than conduct normally constituting the offense, but found
that none of the factors applied. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9). See R.C. 2929.12(C).
{¶13} The trial court also reviewed the R.C. 2929.12(D) factors indicating
that the defendant is likely to commit future crimes and noted that the defendant has
not been rehabilitated to a satisfactory degree after previously being adjudicated a
delinquent child. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9). See R.C. 2929.12(D)(3). With respect to
the R.C. 2929.12(E) factors indicating that the defendant is not likely to commit
future crimes, the trial court noted that due to his age, Tyson had not been convicted
of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offenses as an adult. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9).
See R.C. 2929.12(E)(2). The trial court also found that the defendant showed
genuine remorse. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9). See R.C. 2929.12(E)(5). The trial court
noted that although Tyson’s ORAS score was 19, indicating a moderate risk of
reoffending, “the defendant’s failure to respond favorably to sanctions imposed for
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the adjudications as a delinquent child would outweigh any factors indicting a less
likelihood to recommit.” (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 9-10). (See PSI).
{¶14} Finally, the trial court found that a prison term is “consistent with the
purposes of and principles” of felony sentencing. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 10). The trial
court incorporated its findings into its sentencing entry. (Doc. No. 26).
{¶15} Nevertheless, Tyson argues that the trial court’s findings were not
supported by the record. First, Tyson argues that the trial court erred by finding that
the aggravated robbery charge was part of an organized criminal activity under R.C.
2929.12(B)(7). Specifically, Tyson alleges that although he had an accomplice
during the commission of the aggravated robbery, the robbery was not committed
as part of an organized criminal activity under R.C. 2929.12(B)(7). We disagree.
{¶16} “The fact that an offender had an accomplice is not sufficient to
constitute organized criminal activity.” State v. Horch, 3d Dist. Union No. 14-03-
27, 2004-Ohio-1509, ¶ 14, citing State v. Roberson, 141 Ohio App.3d 626 (6th
Dist.2001). Rather, to support a finding of organized criminal activity, the record
must demonstrate that Tyson and his accomplice planned to engage in the
aggravated robbery. State v. Nichols, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2005-L-017, 2006-Ohio2934, ¶ 85, citing State v. Bradford, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2001-L-175, 2003-Ohio3495, ¶ 28. That is, the record must demonstrate that the crime was premeditated
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rather than spontaneous. See State v. Sari, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2016-L-109, 2017-
Ohio-2933, ¶ 26.
{¶17} Here, the record supports the trial court’s finding that Tyson’s
aggravated robbery charge was part of an organized criminal activity under R.C.
2929.12(B)(7). First, Tyson’s trial counsel conceded at the sentencing hearing that
the aggravated robbery was committed as part of an organized criminal activity.
(Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 4). Further, the facts detailed in the PSI support the trial court’s
finding that the aggravated robbery was committed as part of an organized criminal
activity. According to the information contained in the PSI, on May 30, 2019, Tyson
and Stiggers entered a gas station wearing masks and brandishing firearms and
demanded the money in the cash register while pointing the firearms at the
employees. (PSI). Tyson and Stiggers took money from the cash register and
numerous packages of cigarettes and fled the building. (Id.).
{¶18} Additionally, one of the gas station employees recalled seeing Tyson
enter the gas station several hours before the robbery to “scop[e] out” the business
and confirm the location of the surveillance cameras. (Id.). After leaving the gas
station, Tyson entered a vehicle on the passenger’s side door. (Id.). Law
enforcement officers later determined that the vehicle belonged to Stiggers’s sister,
and Stiggers’s sister confirmed that she allows Stiggers to borrow her car, including
on the night of the incident. (Id.).
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{¶19} Thus, there is clear and convincing evidence from which the trial court
could find that the aggravated robbery occurred as part of an organized criminal
activity under R.C. 2929.12(B)(7). See State v. Allen, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 10AP487, 2011-Ohio-1757, ¶ 3, 30 (finding that Appellant’s actions of propping open the
door at a restaurant where he worked to allow his co-defendants to enter the
restaurant with firearms and take money from the register was sufficient to conclude
that the incident occurred as part of an organized criminal activity); State v. Turner,
6th Dist. Lucas No. L-16-1132, 2017-Ohio-995, ¶ 17-19 (concluding that the
aggravated robbery charge was part of organized criminal activity where Appellant
participated in concert with three other individuals to carry out the offense).
{¶20} Tyson also argues that the record does not support the trial court’s
finding that he did not respond favorably to sanctions imposed for adjudications as
a delinquent child. Although Tyson admits that he did have prior involvement with
the juvenile justice system, Tyson argues that the involvement was “minor” and that
he responded favorably to the sanctions imposed by the juvenile justice system. We
disagree.
{¶21} Tyson’s PSI indicates that he was adjudicated a delinquent child on
four occasions, beginning in 2015, when Tyson was only 13 years old. (PSI).
Tyson’s juvenile record included persistent disorderly conduct, menacing, failure to
comply, and OVI. (Id.). Tyson also had an unauthorized use of a vehicle charge
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pending in the Allen County Juvenile Court when the present case was filed. (Id.).
Accordingly, we find that the record supports the trial court’s finding that Tyson did
not respond favorably to sanctions imposed for adjudications as a delinquent child.
See State v. King, 3d Dist. Defiance No. 4-04-33, 2005-Ohio-3760, ¶ 16-17 (finding
that the trial court did not err by using Appellant’s juvenile record as justification
for imposing a maximum, consecutive sentence and noting that R.C. 2929.12(D)
requires a trial court to consider whether a defendant had previously been
adjudicated delinquent).
{¶22} Finally, Tyson argues that the trial court did not assign the proper
weight to the applicable mitigating and aggravating factors. However, we do not
find Tyson’s argument persuasive. The trial court has broad discretion to determine
the relative weight to assign the R.C. 2929.12 factors, and based on this record, we
cannot find any fault in the trial court’s decision to afford greater weight to the
aggravating factors than the mitigating factors. See Smith, 2015-Ohio-4225, at ¶ 15.
{¶23} Having determined that Tyson’s sentence is supported by the record
and consistent with the provisions of R.C. 2929.11 and 2929.12, we next address
Tyson’s argument that the trial court erred by imposing a sentence that is tantamount
to a life sentence, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Tyson argues that he was
a juvenile during the commission of the crimes and that his aggregate prison term
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affords him no meaningful opportunity for release from incarceration or to
demonstrate rehabilitation. For the reasons that follow, we disagree.
{¶24} The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, applicable
to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, states that “[e]xcessive bail shall
not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments
inflicted.” “A key component of the Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and
unusual punishment is the ‘precept of justice that punishment for crime should be
graduated and proportioned to [the] offense.’” State v. Moore, 149 Ohio St.3d 557,
2016-Ohio-8288, ¶ 31, quoting Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 367, 30 S.Ct.
544 (1910). “To constitute cruel and unusual punishment, ‘the penalty must be so
greatly disproportionate to the offense as to shock the sense of justice of the
community.’” State v. Anderson, 151 Ohio St.3d 212, 2017-Ohio-5656, ¶ 27,
quoting McDougle v. Maxwell, 1 Ohio St.2d 68, 70 (1964).
{¶25} In recent years, the Supreme Court of the United States has addressed
the application of the Eighth Amendment to sentences involving juvenile offenders.
See, e.g., Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 125 S.Ct. 1183 (2005) (prohibiting the
imposition of the death penalty on defendants who commit capital crimes while
under the age of 18); Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012)
(prohibiting the mandatory imposition of life-without parole sentences on offenders
who commit homicide as juveniles). Notably, in Graham v. Florida, the court
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prohibited the imposition of life imprisonment without parole on juvenile
nonhomicide offenders. Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011 (2010).
However, the court in Graham did not address the constitutionality of an aggregate
term-of-years prison sentence for nonhomicide offenses that extends beyond the
juvenile offender’s life expectancy without the possibility of release.
{¶26} In State v. Moore, the Supreme Court of Ohio considered this issue
and held that, “pursuant to Graham, a term-of-years prison sentence that exceeds a
defendant’s life expectancy violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States
Constitution when it is imposed on a juvenile nonhomicide offender.” Moore at ¶
1. The court concluded that sentences for terms of years that extend beyond the
offender’s life expectancy are “functional life sentences.” Id. at ¶ 59. In deciding
Moore, the Supreme Court of Ohio relied principally on the court’s reasoning in
Graham that juvenile defendants “who did not kill or intend to kill” have “twice
diminished moral culpability” due to “the nature of the crime and the juvenile’s
age.” Moore at ¶ 36. The court in Moore noted that “[b]ecause of the characteristics
of youth, a depraved crime committed by a juvenile may not be indicative of an
irredeemable individual.” Id. at ¶ 38. Further, “[t]he inherently diminished moral
culpability and other characteristics of juvenile offenders means that the recognized,
legitimate goals of penal sanctions—retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and
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rehabilitation—do not justify the imposition of the harshest penalties on juveniles
who have committed nonhomicide crimes[.]” Id. at ¶ 39.
{¶27} Tyson argues that his sentence, which consists of an aggregate termof-years prison sentence for nonhomicide offenses, is unconstitutional pursuant to
Moore because it is a functional life sentence. We disagree.
{¶28} In Moore, the defendant was 15 years old when he committed the
underlying nonhomicide offenses and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 112
years in prison. Id. at ¶ 2, 17. In calculating Moore’s eligibility for judicial release,
the court noted that of his 112-year sentence, he had three four-year sentences for
firearm specifications and six ten-year sentences for rape that were mandatory terms
of imprisonment. Id. at ¶ 30. He was eligible to petition the court for judicial release
after serving 77 years in prison, when he was 92 years old. Id. The court compared
Moore’s eligibility for judicial release to the life expectancy statistics for an
individual of Moore’s age, race, and sex contained in the National Vital Statistics
Reports released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Id. The
Court determined that because Moore would not be eligible to petition the trial court
for judicial release until he was 92 years old, the sentence extended beyond Moore’s
life expectancy and precluded any “meaningful chance to demonstrate rehabilitation
and obtain release.” Id. at ¶ 30, 59. Accordingly, the court determined that Moore’s
sentence was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Id. at ¶ 64.
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{¶29} Here, Tyson was 17 years old when he committed the underlying
offenses. He was sentenced to a mandatory term of 6 years in prison and then a
nonmandatory term of 19 to 23 ½ years in prison. According to the National Vital
Statistics Reports released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
a male who was 17-18 years of age in 2017 had a life expectancy of an additional
59.8 years; a 17 to 18 year-old black male had a life expectancy of an additional
56.2 years.1
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Vital
Statistics Reports, Volume 68, Number 7, at 12-13, 24-25 (2019),
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_07-508.pdf (accessed Sept. 15,
2020). Thus, Tyson’s life expectancy extends beyond even his maximum aggregate
sentence of 29 ½ years.
{¶30} Moreover, “Moore implicitly recognized that judicial release is a
sufficient procedural mechanism for giving a juvenile offender the opportunity to
demonstrate sufficient maturity and rehabilitation to reenter society.” State v.
Watkins, 10th Dist. Franklin Nos. 13AP-133 and 13AP-134, 2018-Ohio-5137, ¶ 26.
See Moore at ¶ 30, 141-144. Here, only six years of Tyson’s sentence are
mandatory. Accordingly, he is able to apply for judicial release for the first time
after serving 15 ½ years of his sentence, when he achieves approximately 32-33
years of age. R.C. 2929.20(A)(6), (C)(5). Accordingly, we find that Tyson’s

1
The PSI indicates that Tyson is biracial and his racial background is black and Caucasian.
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sentence does not extend beyond his life expectancy or preclude Tyson from a
meaningful chance to demonstrate rehabilitation and obtain release from
incarceration within his life expectancy. Thus, we hold that Tyson’s sentence is not
a functional life sentence and does not violate the Eighth Amendment as interpreted
by Graham and Moore. See State v. Collins, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga Nos. 106590 and
107341, 2019-Ohio-249, ¶ 21 (concluding that Appellant’s sentence is not a
functional life sentence because the juvenile offender will be able to petition the
trial court for judicial release after serving 14 ½ years of his sentence, at which time
he will be approximately 32 years of age); State v. Wiesenborn, 2d Dist.
Montgomery No. 28224, 2019-Ohio-4487, ¶ 12, 50 (holding that Moore was not
applicable to an appellant who was sentenced to a prison term of 78 ½ years for a
number of offenses committed both as an adult and a juvenile because Appellant
will be eligible for judicial release at age 52 for the sentences imposed for offenses
Appellant committed as a juvenile); Watkins at ¶ 32 (holding that Watkins’s
sentence does not violate the Eighth Amendment as interpreted by Graham and
Moore because Watkins will have the opportunity for judicial release at age 50);
State v. Strowder, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 107855, 2019-Ohio-4573, ¶ 14 (finding
that the juvenile offender’s sentence did not constitute a functional life sentence
because he will be eligible for judicial release at age 61).
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{¶31} We now turn to Tyson’s second assignment of error, in which he
argues that the record does not support the imposition of consecutive sentences.
“Except as provided in * * * division (C) of section 2929.14, * * * a prison term,
jail term, or sentence of imprisonment shall be served concurrently with any other
prison term, jail term, or sentence of imprisonment imposed by a court of this state,
another state, or the United States.” R.C. 2929.41(A). R.C. 2929.14(C) provides:
(4) * * * [T]he 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
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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 conduct.
(c) The offender’s history of criminal conduct demonstrates that
consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public from future
crime by the offender.
{¶32} R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) requires a trial court to make specific findings on
the record when imposing consecutive sentences. State v. Hites, 3d Dist. Hardin
No. 6-11-07, 2012-Ohio-1892, ¶ 11; State v. Peddicord, 3d Dist. Henry No. 7-12-
24, 2013-Ohio-3398, ¶ 33. Specifically, the trial court must find: (1) consecutive
sentences are necessary to either protect the public or punish the offender; (2) the
sentences would not be disproportionate to the offense committed; and (3) one of
the factors in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4)(a), (b), or (c) applies. Id.; Id.
{¶33} The trial court must state the required findings at the sentencing
hearing prior to imposing consecutive sentences and incorporate those findings into
its sentencing entry. State v. Sharp, 3d Dist. Putnam No. 12-13-01, 2014-Ohio4140, ¶ 50, citing State v. Bonnell, 140 Ohio St.3d 209, 2014-Ohio-3177, ¶ 29. A
trial court “has no obligation to state reasons to support its findings” and is not
“required to give a talismanic incantation of the words of the statute, provided that
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the necessary findings can be found in the record and are incorporated into the
sentencing entry.” Bonnell at ¶ 37.
{¶34} Tyson does not argue that the trial court failed to make the requisite
consecutive-sentencing findings under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). Rather, Tyson contends
that the record does not support the trial court’s findings. At the sentencing hearing,
the trial court stated:
The Court has decided that the defendant shall serve the prison terms
consecutively under 2929.14 because the Court finds that consecutive
sentencing is necessary to protect the public from future crime and
also to punish the defendant. I find that consecutive sentences are not
disproportionate to the seriousness of the conduct and the danger that
the defendant poses to the public. I also find that with respect to the
Robbery and the Attempted Murder, those multiple offenses were
committed as part of a course of conduct and I find the harm caused
by the two multiple offenses was so great and unusual that no single
prison term for any of the offenses committed would adequately
reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct.
(Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 11-12). The trial court incorporated those findings into its
sentencing entry. (Doc. No. 26). In its sentencing entry, the trial court stated:
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The Court has decided that the defendant shall serve the prison terms
consecutively, pursuant to R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), because the Court
finds that the consecutive sentence is necessary to protect the public
from future crime or to punish the defendant and that consecutive
sentences are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the
defendant’s conduct and to the danger the defendant poses to the
public, and the Court also finds the following: * * * [a]t 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 defendant’s
conduct.
(Id.). Accordingly, the record reflects that the trial court made the appropriate R.C.
2929.14(C) findings before imposing consecutive sentences and incorporated those
findings into its sentencing entry.
{¶35} Nonetheless, Tyson argues that the record does not support the trial
court’s finding that the harm caused by two or more of the multiple offenses was so
great or unusual that no single prison term adequately reflects the seriousness of
Tyson’s conduct. (Appellant’s Brief at 12-13). Specifically, Tyson argues that
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because only the victim of the attempted murder charge provided a victim impact
statement, the trial court was not able to find that the harm caused by the two or
more offenses was great or unusual enough to justify the imposition of consecutive
sentences. We disagree.
{¶36} At the sentencing hearing, Deputy Friemoth gave a victim impact
statement and stated that the incident had a detrimental impact on him and his
family. (Nov. 4, 2019 Tr. at 2-4). Deputy Friemoth stated that although his family
has confidence in his abilities as a law enforcement officer, the incident “only served
to heighten their fears” of him going to work each day. (Id. at 3). Deputy Friemoth
stated that Tyson “nearly took [his] life” and that he and his family think about the
incident “daily.” (Id.).
{¶37} Although the victims of the aggravated robbery did not provide a
victim impact statement to the trial court, the information contained in the PSI
indicates that Tyson held a gun within inches of the face of one of the gas station
employees. (PSI). Additionally, one of the employees told law enforcement that
during the robbery, he was too frightened to even press the panic button near the
register for fear he would be shot. (Id.). Accordingly, we find that the trial court
did not err by finding that the harm caused by the multiple offenses was so great or
unusual that no single prison term adequately reflects the seriousness of Tyson’s
conduct.
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{¶38} In conclusion, the trial court properly considered the purposes and
principles of felony sentencing and applied the relevant R.C. 2929.12 factors.
Additionally, the trial court’s findings regarding the purposes and principles of
felony sentencing and the relevant R.C. 2929.12 factors were supported by the
record. Furthermore, Tyson’s sentence was not unconstitutional under the Eighth
Amendment. Moreover, the trial court’s consecutive sentence findings are
supported by the record. Therefore, we conclude that there is not clear and
convincing evidence that Tyson’s sentence is not supported by the record or that his
sentence is otherwise contrary to law. See Nienberg, 2017-Ohio-2920, at ¶ 23.
{¶39} Tyson’s first and second assignments of error are overruled.

Outcome: Having found no error prejudicial to the appellant herein in the particulars assigned and argued, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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