Ohio Woman Receives 65-Year Prison Term for Stealing from Elderly Residents
In a shocking turn of events, the Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the 65-year prison sentence handed down to a central Ohio woman who admitted to stealing jewelry and other valuable items from numerous elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Susan Gwynne, a former nurse’s aide, pleaded guilty to 46 out of 101 charges in 2016, which included burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property. As part of her plea agreement, she confessed to stealing jewelry, watches, and other belongings from senior citizens residing in these facilities.
Gwynne revealed during the court hearing that she began pilfering items from patients’ rooms back in 2004 to support her cocaine addiction, while she was employed as a nurse at an assisted living facility. Despite being fired later on, she continued her criminal activities by visiting various facilities in Delaware County and Franklin County, still dressed in her nursing uniform. Upon investigation, authorities discovered more than 3,000 stolen items at her residence.
This conviction has been accompanied by an image of Gwynne, emphasizing the severity of her actions. The photo shows her facing the camera with a backdrop of the Ohio Fox News graphic, further highlighting the newsworthy nature of this story.
The Supreme Court’s ruling comes after a series of legal appeals. Initially, the trial court imposed consecutive prison terms, concluding that no single sentence would adequately address the gravity of her offenses. However, in 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeals overturned the decision, taking into account Gwynne’s age and her status as a nonviolent, first-time offender, suggesting a 15-year imprisonment period as more appropriate.
Nevertheless, in 2019, the Supreme Court reversed this ruling and ordered the appeals court to reconsider the case. Subsequently, the lower court upheld the original 65-year sentence, stating that it lacked the authority to modify the consecutive terms.
In December, the state Supreme Court voted 4-3 to send the case back for further reconsideration. However, following a shift in the court’s political affiliation, it voted 4-3 in January to reassess its own decision. Ultimately, the high court, in a split decision, determined that the consecutive sentences were indeed justified.
According to reports from The Columbus Dispatch, Gwynne, now 62 years old, is currently incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. Shockingly, she is not slated for release until the year 2081, underscoring the severity of the punishment imposed upon her.