11th District Criminal Case Update

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Two criminal cases this week, and the defense bar bats .500.

State v. Goldberg, 2014-Ohio-2453
Goldberg apparently wasn’t happy with the woman about to testify against her ex-boyfriend.  Naturally, the best thing to do in that situation is show up to court for his trial and key the witness’s Mustang on the way in.  She gets convicted of Criminal Damaging and argues on appeal that the manifest weight of the evidence doesn’t point to her guilt.  The victim and her friend watched out the window as Goldberg parked, went out of her way to walk past the victim’s car, and came out the other side with a key in her hand.  It’s not perfect, but it’s weighty enough, and the Court upholds the conviction.  Wright, Rice, O’Toole.

State v. Householder, 2014-Ohio-2455
A win for Streetsboro attorney Patty Smith!  Householder pled guilty to two counts of Gross Sexual Imposition and two counts of Unlawful Sexual Conduct With a Minor.  The judge gave him two 5-year terms on the GSIs and two 2 1/2-year terms on the Unlawful Sexual Conducts.  He ran them all consecutive for a total of fifteen years.  In order to run sentences consecutive, a judge is required to make certain findings.  It’s a pretty loose standard, and appellate courts can generally piece together the findings from whatever the judge happens to say at sentencing.  In this case, the judge didn’t say anything at all, so it’s sent back for resentencing – at which time the judge will say the right words and then impose the same fifteen years.  Grendell, Cannon, Rice.