Appeal filed in response to judge’s decision

LISBON – Unsatisfied with the decision of Judge Scott Washam not to resentence Joseph Eltringham, an appeal was filed on his behalf requesting the Seventh District Court of Appeals look at the Feb. 4 decision.

Previously his defense attorney, Richard Hura, had filed a motion noting that Ohio House Bill 197, which was signed on Dec. 20, 2012, requires Washam to take into consideration Eltringham’s 20 years of military service and the emotional effects that service had on him during sentencing.

However, Washam had sided with Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, who had argued the new bill does not go into effect until March 22, 2013 and is not retroactive.

Eltringham, 45, Rochester Road, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, felonious assault and intimidation on Aug. 24, about a year after he went to the home of his neighbor and friend, World War II veteran Robert Kastelic, where Eltringham beat and robbed him over an extended time period. He was sentenced to eight years on Nov. 1.

This week, Hura filed an appeal asking the court to take a second look at Washam’s decision not to resentence Eltringham. Hura has long noted Eltringham served honorably in the military for more than 20 years, which would make him qualify with the intent of the House bill.

In another matter, James V. Rhodes, 41, Lusk Lock Road, Lisbon, filed an appeal of his contempt of court judgment. However, he did it about five days before his 30-day sentence was to end and he sent it to the wrong court, county Municipal Court instead of Common Pleas Court.

Rhodes was found in contempt of court on Jan. 3, when he appeared before Municipal Court Judge Carol Robb for a pretrial hearing. He cursed at the judge, earning him 30 days.

Three days later, Rhodes sent Robb a hand-written letter of apology, asking for a lighter sentence and claiming he was “dope sick” at the time of the hearing, because he had gone without drugs for two days before he arrived in the courtroom and had a $300 a day heroin habit. He asked her for some type of long-term treatment and also admitted to a crack habit in the letter.

However, Robb went on vacation before she could rule on the matter.

On Feb. 4, though, Robb issued a judgment entry dismissing the finding of contempt and terminating his incarceration, even though it already had ended.

Rhodes’ appeal, which was hand-written and filed on his own behalf, was stamped received in county Municipal Court on Jan. 31 and filed in Common Pleas Court yesterday.