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State v. Romanko

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

March 2, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
ZORYANA ROMANKO DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-14-583903-A

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED

          APPELLANT Zoryana Romanko, pro se

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga County Prosecutor By: Edward Brydle Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          BEFORE: E.A. Gallagher, P.J., Stewart, J., and S. Gallagher, J.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN A. GALLAGHER, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant Zoryana Romanko appeals the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences after the case was remanded for the trial court to consider whether consecutive sentences were appropriate under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) and, if so, to make the findings required by the statute. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Procedural and Factual Background

         {¶2} Romanko used her position as a housekeeper to steal jewelry, antiques and treasured heirlooms from families for whom she worked then sell the items to local pawnbrokers. Over a twenty-two-month period, Romanko conducted 139 transactions with pawnbrokers selling, in exchange for payments totaling more than $69, 000. As part of a plea agreement, Romanko pled guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of grand theft in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-14-583903 and one count of burglary in Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-14-585536. Romanko also agreed to pay a total of $13, 150 in restitution to three of her victims.

         {¶3} In Case No. CR-14-583903, Romanko was sentenced to two-year concurrent prison terms on each of the burglary counts and 18 months on the grand theft count which was to be served consecutively to the sentences imposed on the burglary counts. In Case No. CR-14-585536, Romanko was sentened to two years in prison on the burglary count, to be served consecutively to the sentences imposed in Case No. CR-14-583903, resulting in an aggregate prison sentence of five-and-one-half years. The trial court also imposed three years of mandatory postrelease control and ordered the payment of $13, 150 in restitution and costs.

         {¶4} Romanko appealed her convictions and sentences to this court, arguing, as her sole assignment of error, that the trial court had erred in imposing consecutive sentences without making the statutory findings required under R.C. 2929.14(C). This court agreed and remanded the case for resentencing "for the limited purpose of considering whether consecutive sentences are appropriate under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4) and, if so, to make the findings required by the statute." State v. Romanko, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 101921, 2015-Ohio-4759, ¶ 11 ("Romanko I ").

         {¶5} At the resentencing hearing, the trial judge heard from defense counsel, Romanko and the state. She then announced that, based upon (1) her review of this court's opinion in Romanko I, the presentence investigation report and the transcript from the initial sentencing hearing and (2) her consideration of "what everyone has said here today and "the purposes and principles of the Ohio Revised Code Sections regarding sentencing, " she had determined that "the original sentence was appropriate" under R.C. 2929.14(C)(4). Accordingly, in Case No. CR-14-583903, Romanko was sentenced to two-year concurrent prison terms on each of the burglary counts and 18 months on the grand theft count which was to be served consecutively to the sentences on the burglary counts. In Case No. CR-14-585536, Romanko was sentenced to two years in prison on the burglary count to be served consecutively to the sentences imposed in Case No. CR-14-583903.

         {¶6} The trial court then proceeded to state the findings in support of its imposition of consecutive sentences as follows:

THE COURT: Now, I make the following findings to support the sentences I just gave, the consecutive sentences.
I find that consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public from future crime. * * *
[T]here is no reason for me to believe that had you not been caught, that you would not have continued on this crime spree.
The best indicator of your future behavior is your past behavior, and I think it's necessary to protect the public from future crime by you.
Now, this is an alternative, but I find this as well. I also find it's necessary to punish you, the offender, someone who violates the trust of people, who let you into their home, need to be severely punished.
People need to be confident in the security of their home.
I also note that it's not just the financial, which is truly a significant number, but also the emotional damage that you caused each and every one of these offenders, coin collections of a family, broaches, wedding rings, and, in the one instance, the [sic] one family was expecting to use the proceeds from these items to care for their elderly mother.
I also find it's not disproportionate to the seriousness of your conduct, and to the danger you pose to the public.
You got two years on each of the burglary counts. Each is a separate victim.
To get the minimum, it cannot be considered disproportionate.
And you also pose a danger to the public, a danger to their security, a danger to their possessions, and possessions that mean so very much to them.
And you did this over a significant period of time.
And, actually, I did count the numbers of the victims. It's nine. I see that in my notes, now, and I ...

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