Woman who borrowed then-boyfriend's car without permission put on probation

Cary Ashby • Dec 14, 2013 at 6:07 AM

A New London woman who failed to return her then-boyfriend's borrowed vehicle called the incident a misunderstanding.

Stephanie L. Randleman, 47, of 42 E. Fir St., Apt. B, pleaded guilty in late October to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

As part of her three years of probation, she must pay $500 in restitution to the victim, her ex-boyfriend. Randleman's probation officer has the discretion of imposing a 90-day jail sentence. If she violates the terms of her community control sanctions, she faces one year in prison.

"This is a fairly difficult case," said Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler, who wasn't sure why Randleman took the vehicle. "There may have been drugs involved."

The victim allowed Randleman to borrow his car and she made a written promise to return it in the same condition by April 12, prosecutors said. The victim later took the damaged car to a body shop.

"It cost $2,736.89 to repair," assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said earlier.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo said it's "kinda murky" about when Randleman possessing the vehicle became a crime because the owner originally may have given her consent to use it. The victim was in the courtroom for Thursday's sentencing hearing, but declined to speak.

About the drug allegations involving Randleman, Longo said his client has a history of substance abuse, but she hasn't taken any drugs recently.

"(She) is a successful employee (and) is well liked," Longo said.

Randleman, who is working full-time, has been taking college classes.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said even though Randleman has a lengthy criminal history as an adult and been sentenced to prison four times, he told her it appears "you are trying to turn a corner" and aren't likely to re-offend. The judge said he was surprised that during her pre-sentence interview, she tested at a low level to commit another crime later, but Conway said it indicates that probation officers believes she is taking genuine steps to improve herself.

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