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State v. Stih

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

August 15, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SANDRA STIH, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-18-630301-A

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and James D. May, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          John P. Parker, for appellant.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          RAYMOND C. HEADEN, JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Sandra Stih ("Stih") appeals from her sentence following a guilty plea. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On July 5, 2018, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Stih on three counts of aggravated theft, one count of telecommunications fraud, five counts of money laundering, and nine counts of forgery. This indictment was the result of Stih's stealing from her employer, Alpha Tool & Mold, Inc. ("Alpha"), over the period of several years. In total, Stih's theft against Alpha was over $313, 000.

         {¶ 3} On October 1, 2018, the court held a group-plea hearing. The court conducted a Crim.R. 11 colloquy and informed Stih that she faced a sentence between two and eight years in prison. Stih pleaded guilty to one count of telecommunications fraud, in violation of R.C. 2913.05(A), a felony of the second degree. The remaining 17 counts in the indictment were nolled. The court referred Stih to the probation department for the preparation of a presentence investigation report ("PSI").

         {¶ 4} On November 1, 2018, the court held a sentencing hearing. The court heard from defense counsel, several representatives of Alpha, the prosecutor, and Stih. Defense counsel noted that Stih had paid back approximately $14, 000 to Alpha and argued that this showed that she had accepted responsibility, expressed remorse, and was a form of restitution. The Alpha representatives testified that Stih's actions financially crippled the company. Alpha is a family-run company, and its owners resorted to exhausting their personal lines of credit, and, in one case, obtaining a second home mortgage to keep the business afloat. The prosecutor recommended a sentence of four or five years to the court. Stih expressed remorse for her conduct and stated that she was receiving counseling. The court sentenced Stih to six years in prison and three years of postrelease control.

         {¶ 5} Stih appealed her sentence, presenting one assignment of error for our review.

         {¶ 6} On January 21, 2019, Stih filed a motion to supplement the record with the PSI, and this court granted that motion.

         Law and Analysis

         {¶ 7} In her sole assignment of error, Stih argues that her sentence is contrary to law ...


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