In drug offense prosecution, no error in denying motion to suppress where warrantless search was permissible since defendant was serving post-release control and, even though recommended for early release, final release had not been granted, R.C. 2967.16. State vs. Anton Bevington 5th Dist. (Stark County) http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/5/2012/2012-ohio-6285.pdf
Mr. Bevington was on Post-Release Control (PRC) through the Adult Probation Authority (APA). Part of the APA regulations required Mr. Bevington to agree to warrantless searches of his residence. A search of his residence resulted in him being indicted on new drug charges. He challenged the search claiming that he had fulfilled all of his obligations and should not have been on PRC.
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Ohio law states that when a person is paroled, or released from confinement under a period of post-release control, he or she is released from confinement before the end of his or her sentence and remains in the custody of the state until the sentence expires or the APA grants final release. R.C. 2967.02(C); R.C. 2967.02(D); R.C. 2967.15(A); R.C. 2967.16. State v. Clark, 119 Ohio St.3d 239.
The question in this case is when Mr. Bevington was eligible for “final release” from government control. The term “final release” is defined as “a remission by the adult parole authority of the balance of the sentence or prison term of a parolee or prisoner or the termination by the authority of a term of post-release control of a releasee.” R.C. 2967.01(K).
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The statute clearly states that in order for a final release to be effective three events must occur. First, the superintendent of parole supervision must recommend the final release to the APA. Second, the APA may enter upon its minutes a final release. Finally, upon the entry of the final release, the APA shall issue to thereleased individual a certificate of final release.
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Mr. Bevington had not been granted a final release from post-release control by the APA because “the certificate of final release was not entered upon its record, and the APA did not issue the certificate of final release to Bevington until October 14, 2011” which was 3 days after the search of his residence.