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State v. McCourt

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh District, Mahoning

December 19, 2017

STATE OF OHIO PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
STEPHANIE McCOURT DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

         Criminal Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Mahoning County, Ohio Case No. 2013 CR 1002 A

          For Plaintiff-Appellee: Atty. Paul J. Gains Mahoning County Prosecutor Atty. Ralph M. Rivera Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

          For Defendant-Appellant: Atty. John D. Falgiani, Jr.

          JUDGES: Hon. Cheryl L. Waite Hon. Mary DeGenaro Hon. Carol Ann Robb

          OPINION

          WAITE, J.

         {¶1} Appellant Stephanie McCourt appeals her sentence entered by the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on three counts of burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2), (C), felonies of the second degree. The sole issue raised on appeal is whether the trial court erred in sentencing Appellant to a six-year sentence. Based on the foregoing analysis, the trial court did not err. Appellant's assignment of error is without merit and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         {¶2} The record before us does not contain specific details regarding the underlying offenses, however, it reflects that Appellant's convictions stem from a series of home burglaries committed by Appellant and her brother. Appellant drove the vehicle during these burglaries and her brother broke into the homes and removed property.

         {¶3} On January 23, 2014, the Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted Appellant on five counts of burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2), (C). All were felonies of the second degree. Appellant was incarcerated at the time of the indictment for offenses committed in another jurisdiction. The state filed an amended disclosure of evidence and intent to use evidence on October 16, 2014. This document outlined Appellant's lengthy criminal record, including multiple felonies dating back to 2007. Among her convictions were instances of forgery, drug trafficking, and fleeing and eluding. In this matter, Appellant ultimately entered a guilty plea on February 13, 2015 to three counts of burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.12(A)(2), (C). The state recommended a sentence of two years of incarceration on each count, to run concurrently, and agreed to remain silent on judicial release after six months. Sentencing was set for April 10, 2015, however, Appellant failed to appear. A warrant was issued against her and her bond was revoked.

         {¶4} Once Appellant was apprehended, a sentencing hearing was held on November 17, 2015. She was sentenced to six years in prison on each count to be served concurrently, for a total prison term of six years on all three counts. Appellant was given 172 days of jail time credit. Her prison term was to be followed by a mandatory period of postrelease control of three years.

         {¶5} Appellant sent a pro se letter to the trial court on April 15, 2016 asking the court to reconsider her sentence. The letter was construed as a motion for judicial release and denied in a judgment entry dated June 24, 2016.

         {¶6} On September 9, 2016, Appellant filed a pro se notice of appeal. We granted Appellant's delayed appeal. Appellant raises a single assignment of error.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO ISSUE A SENTENCE THAT IS PROPORTIONAL TO AND CONSISTENT WITH SENTENCES GIVEN FOR SIMILAR OFFENSES BY SIMILAR OFFENDERS THEREBY DEPRIVING APPELLANT OF HER STATE AND FEDERAL RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION AND ...


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