Man resentenced after appeals court decision


A Hillsboro man previously sentenced to five years in prison was this week resentenced to 30 months after a court of appeals reversed the initial sentencing from Highland County Common Pleas Court.

Dallas P. Clark, 37, was found guilty of third-degree felony illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs in November 2014. Due to a previous illegal assembly conviction, judge Rocky Coss at the time said he had “one option” for sentencing as outlined by Ohio sentencing laws, and that was for five years in prison.

Last November, the Fourth District Court of Appeals said in a decision that the five-year sentence couldn’t stand and Clark was to be resentenced.

On Thursday, Coss explained that HB 86 in 2011 changed third-degree felonies to two tiers – the upper tier for violent offenses and the lower tier to which the illegal assembly offense became relegated. Prior to HB 86, he said, illegal assembly carried a mandatory prison term of at least two years. And a further provision of the law was that if a defendant was convicted of illegal assembly a second time, that meant a five-year prison term. Coss said that when HB 86 was enacted, illegal assembly became “probational,” but the second-conviction provision was not amended, which in November 2014 meant the court sentenced Clark to five years in prison.

In another hearing, Coss heard evidence in the matter of David Forbes, 33, Felicity, who is charged with first-degree felony rape and third-degree felony gross sexual imposition.

The hearing was on a motion filed by the defense seeking to prohibit the state from presenting at trial the testimony of a children’s hospital social worker and the DVD recording of her interview with the alleged victim.

Coss wrote in his decision filed with the Highland County Clerk of Courts on Thursday that after considering the evidence presented in court and viewing the DVD recording, the recording is admissible except for two “portions … that relate to the defendant’s incarceration.” He further ordered that comments in the recording referring to the defendant being in jail are to be censored from the recording prior to the jury’s viewing of the DVD.

Right now, Forbes is scheduled to face a jury on June 27, according to court records.

On Thursday, a Greenfield man recently arrested in one of six methamphetamine-related busts in Greenfield in a month’s time has been found to have violated his community control from a previous conviction and has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Jacob W. Cox, 19, was initially sentenced to community control and treatment in August of last year after he pled guilty to an illegal assembly charge. Court records show that in October he admitted to violating his community control and was ordered to complete STAR, which he did in March.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

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