In Wednesday’s decision, the court also overturned Bertram’s sentence of 8 to 12 years in prison.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio man was so brazen when he stole a $500 leaf blower from his home that it wasn’t theft, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In their unanimous decision, the justices found that because Donald Bertram did not use “force, stealth or deception” to commit the crime, he should instead be convicted of a lesser offense that could earn him less than a year in prison. in prison.

According to court documents, a Portsmouth homeowner was working on his property in September 2020 when he heard the loud muffler of a car driving by. He went into the house to get his cell phone and when he came back outside he looked into the eyes of Bertram, the driver of the car.

Bertram drove past the house but then turned around and parked on the road near the driveway before walking down the driveway to the open garage of the house. The homeowner said Bertram was smiling, acting “very nice” and had “no sense of urgency” when he went into the garage, grabbed a leaf blower and returned to his car.

Bertram ignored the homeowner’s demand to put the blower down, placed it in the passenger seat of his car and attempted to drive away. When the car didn’t start right away, the homeowner snapped a few close-up photos of Bertram before he eventually drove off.

Bertram was soon arrested and convicted of burglary. He appealed the jury’s verdict to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed, and then appealed the case to the state Supreme Court.

In a ruling written by Justice Michael Donnelly, the Supreme Court noted that lower courts had determined that Bertram had engaged in stealth and deception because he calmly and silently walked past the homeowner without giving any indication that he intended to steal anything.

However, Donnelly wrote that the evidence “totally failed to establish” that Bertram engaged in any of the “secret, crafty or secret acts” that must be proven to convict someone of theft.

In Wednesday’s decision, the court also overturned Bertram’s sentence of 8 to 12 years in prison. Judges also revoked a 491-day sentence Bertram received for violating probation in another case. They noted that imprisonment for violation of a suspended sentence can be imposed only for committing a serious crime, and in this case this issue is removed.

Local news: recent coverage ⬇️

Previous articleUS, Mexico announce immigration deal, but border crisis expected to worsen
Next article“Carry The Load” Cross Country Hike Honoring Heroes Stopping In Northwest Ohio For May Day Rally