COLUMBUS, Ohio – A decision by the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals has affirmed a Meigs County conviction.
According to Meigs County Prosecuting Attorney James K. Stanley the decision filed on June 28, 2018, affirmed Paulena Yost’s conviction for Aggravated Assault, a felony of the fourth degree.
Aggravated Assault is defined under Ohio Revised Code §2903.12(A) as “(A) No person, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force, shall knowingly: (1) Cause serious physical harm to another or to another’s unborn; (2) Cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance, as defined in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code.”
According to Prosecutor Stanley, on November 14, 2017, Yost, 21, of Syracuse, Ohio, was convicted of Aggravated Assault for stabbing the victim, her live-in boyfriend, in the back on March 6, 2017 during a dispute at their residence. At sentencing, Stanley argued that Yost should receive the maximum sentence of eighteen months in prison. Meigs County Court of Common Pleas Judge I. Carson Crow agreed and sentenced Yost to eighteen months in prison. Yost then appealed her conviction to the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals.
In the appeal, Yost claimed that the imposition of the maximum sentence was not clearly and convincingly supported by the record. Stanley argued that the imposition of the maximum sentence was warranted considering the seriousness of the facts of the case. The appellate court agreed with the State and overruled Yost’s assignment of error and affirmed the judgment of the trial court, finding that the fact that Yost stabbed the victim in the back with a kitchen knife as he packed his belongings to move out of the residence, that the victim suffered a wound that required stitches, and that the incident occurred in the presence of children constituted a more serious act of aggravated assault than normal, which warranted the imposition of the maximum prison sentence. Judge William H. Harsha wrote the opinion, and both Judge Peter B. Abele and Judge Matthew W. McFarland concurred in the judgment and opinion.
In case you were not already aware, the appellate court is responsible for determining whether any errors occurred in applying the law at the lower court level. It generally will reverse a trial court only for an error of law. Not every error of law, however, is cause for a reversal. For example, some errors are deemed to be harmless and therefore do not prejudice the rights of the parties to a fair trial. Correspondingly, you can learn more about the complexities of appellate law by taking a look at the website for this team of Georgia appeal lawyers.
Yost will serve the remainder of her prison sentence, which is due to expire on April 12, 2019.
For the original story on the Meigs Independent Press, click the link below.