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Date: 05-02-2021

Case Style:

STATE OF OHIO vs. DERRIUS A. BRONSON

Case Number: C-200151

Judge: Beth A. Myers

Court: IN THE COURT OF APPEALS FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT OF OHIO HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO

Plaintiff's Attorney: Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Ronald Springman,
Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Defendant's Attorney:


Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Description:

Cincinnati, Ohio - Criminal defense attorney represented Derrius A. Bronson with failure to stop after an accident and vehicular assault charges



{¶2} Each of Bronson’s assignments of error challenge his sentences.
Under R.C. 2953.08(G)(2)(a), an appellate court may modify or vacate a defendant’s
sentence only if it clearly and convincingly finds that the sentence is contrary to law
or that the record does not support the trial court’s findings under certain
enumerated statutes including R.C. 2929.13(B), R.C. 2929.13(D), R.C.
2929.14(B)(2)(e), R.C. 2929.14(C)(4), and R.C. 2929.20(I). State v. Harris, 1st Dist.
Hamilton No. C-190576, 2021-Ohio-371, ¶ 25, citing State v. Jones, Slip Opinion No.
2020-Ohio-6729, ¶ 31, 37; State v. Anderson, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C-190588,
2021-Ohio-293, ¶ 6.
Imposition of a Prison Term for Failure To Stop
{¶3} In his first assignment of error, Bronson argues that the trial court
erred by imposing a prison term for the failure-to-stop offense. He contends that the
trial court did not make the proper sentencing findings under R.C. 2929.13(B)(1)(a)
before imposing a prison term for a nonviolent fifth-degree felony. OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS
3
{¶4} R.C. 2929.13(B)(1)(a) requires a trial court to impose a communitycontrol sanction “if an offender is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony of the
fourth or fifth degree that is not an offense of violence or that is a qualifying assault
offense” if all of the following conditions apply: (i) the offender previously has not
been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony offense; (ii) the most serious charge
against the offender at the time of sentencing is a felony of the fourth or fifth degree;
and (iii) the offender previously has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a
misdemeanor offense of violence that the offender committed within two years prior
to the offense for which sentence is being imposed. The trial court is not required to
impose a community-control sanction unless all three of the enumerated conditions
apply.
{¶5} The record reflects that the condition in R.C. 2929.13(B)(1)(a)(iii) did
not apply to Bronson because he was convicted in 2018 of misdemeanor domestic
violence, an offense of violence as defined in R.C. 2901.01(A)(9)(a), within two years
prior to the failure-to-stop offense for which he was being sentenced. Therefore, R.C.
2929.13(B)(1)(a) did not require the trial court to impose a community-control
sanction for Bronson’s failure-to-stop offense. Consequently, we hold that the trial
court did not err in imposing a prison term for Bronson’s failure-to-stop offense. We
overrule the first assignment of error.
Consecutive Prison Terms
{¶6} In his second assignment of error, Bronson argues that the trial court
erred by imposing consecutive prison terms. He does not dispute that the trial court
made the findings required by R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) at the sentencing hearing and
incorporated those findings into the sentencing entry. However, he asserts that the
record does not support those findings.
{¶7} In order to impose consecutive prison terms, R.C. 2929.14(C)(4)
requires the trial court to find on the record that consecutive sentences are OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS
4
“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.” The court must also find
that at least one of the aggravating factors in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4)(a) through (c)
exists. R.C. 2929.14(C)(4); State v. Grate, Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-5584, ¶ 205.
{¶8} The trial court must make the findings mandated by R.C.
2929.14(C)(4) at the sentencing hearing and incorporate its findings into the
sentencing entry. State v. Bonnell, 140 Ohio St.3d 209, 2014-Ohio-3177, 16 N.E.3d
659, ¶ 37. In stating the required findings, the trial court need not recite the
statutory language verbatim, but a reviewing court must be able to discern from the
record that the court engaged in the required analysis and determine that the record
contains evidence to support the findings. State v. Pettus, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C170712, 2019-Ohio-2023, ¶ 65, citing Bonnell at ¶ 29.
{¶9} Here, the trial court made the finding under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) that
consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public and to punish the
defendant and are not disproportionate to the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct
and the danger the defendant poses to the public. In addition, the court found that
the aggravating factor in R.C. 2929.14(C)(4)(b) existed, finding that the offenses
were committed as part of one or more courses of conduct and the harm caused by
the offenses was so great or unusual that no single prison term for either of the
offenses would adequately reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct.
{¶10} The trial court’s findings are supported by the record. At the
sentencing hearing, the trial court noted that Bronson was speeding and driving
recklessly when he struck and seriously injured a 13-year-old child and that Bronson
backed up from the child and fled the accident scene, leaving the child bleeding and
unresponsive. The child’s mother addressed the court and said that she lived close
to where the accident happened and that she ran from her home to find her child OHIO FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS
5
lying on the ground, bleeding, “and Mr. Bronson was nowhere to be found.” She told
the court that police officers found Bronson as “he was leaving with a busted
windshield out of [her neighborhood] and he was pointed out by the people [who had
taken] a picture of his license plate.” She said that Bronson “didn’t make it far
because of all of the officers in the community.”
{¶11} The court noted that when Bronson was arrested, he claimed a cousin
was driving the car and gave a false name. Then Bronson admitted to driving but
claimed that he did not know he had struck someone. According to the arresting
officer’s statement, the roof and hood of the car driven by Bronson were dented and
the car’s windshield was shattered and caved-in. The court noted that the child
victim suffered broken ribs, back and neck injuries requiring more than 50 stitches,
disfiguring scarring, and permanent brain damage. The court also considered
Bronson’s lack of remorse, as well as his prior history of misdemeanor criminal
convictions for driving under suspension and domestic violence.
{¶12} Thus, the record amply supports the trial court’s imposition of
consecutive sentences. We overrule the second assignment of error.
Driver’s License Suspensions
{¶13} In his third assignment of error, Bronson argues that the trial court
erred by imposing consecutive driver’s license suspensions. However, the record
reflects that the trial court did not order the driver’s license suspensions to be served
consecutively.

Outcome: Because the error assigned is not demonstrated in the record, we
overrule the third assignment of error and affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Judgment affirmed.

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