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Woman sent to jail

Aaron Krause • Jun 21, 2014 at 6:07 AM

A Sandusky resident who pleaded guilty to stealing nine television sets from the Norwalk Walmart was sentenced to 120 days in jail Wednesday.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway credited Vanessa Medina, 34, of Sandusky with serving one day.

She must serve 59 days starting 9 a.m. Oct. 6. Of the 120 days, Medina will serve 60 at the discretion of the probation department, Conway said.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Hakos said while the Dec. 22 incident marked Medina's first felony, she has a "very extensive misdemeanor background" involving 13 prior thefts. Hakos added that one of the major terms of her probation was not to enter any Walmart store.

Hakos recommended community control and local jail time.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo said a "good chunk" of his client's record involves traffic-related offenses.

He said suspects in Sandusky are often punished with a "wrist slap" that reinforces a person's pattern of conduct.

As for the stolen television sets, Longo told Conway, "I think she honestly does regret this. Frankly, your honor, to her credit she's been totally cooperative through this whole thing."

Longo said she's "owned up to what she did" and he's not excusing what she did.

Longo also said Medina has been working two jobs at one time and has had to use multiple modes of transportation to get to them.

During the hearing, Medina folded her hands, which she rested on her face.

She fought back tears while telling the judge she doesn't want her family to commit similar crimes. Medina has two children, Longo said.

"She's kind of had a lot of hard knocks," Longo said, adding she was placed in foster care, lost contact with her birth family and her first 10 years of life were "very rough."

"She's had a rough start and her skills are limited," the public defender said.

But Conway said the defendant hasn't been very responsive to community control sanctions.

"The fact that you keep doing it indicates it's simply a pattern of behavior for you," the judge said. He also noted she was ordered not to enter a Walmart store as part of her probation.

Conway said previous "slaps on the wrist" haven't improved her behavior.

"I certainly can't let you go without significant punishment in this case," Conway said. "You've got to serve some time for this."

In addition to the 120-day jail term, he placed her on community control sanctions for three years. She can't leave Ohio without her probation officer's permission, must maintain full-time employment, undergo urine analysis and counseling. She must pay a $250 fine, abide by her curfew and cannot enter any Walmart store.

If she violates the terms of her probation, she could be sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Longo asked Conway if Medina could have work release privileges, which the judge granted.

Hakos said he was satisfied with the judge's sentence, which was similar to what he and Longo discussed during plea negotiations.

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