Ohio overturns conviction of man dealing with as much as 12 years for stealing leaf blower

Ohio’s prime court docket has overturned the housebreaking conviction of a person who stole a $500 leaf blower from a resident’s storage as a result of the person didn’t use “pressure, stealth, or deception” to commit the crime.

The unanimous choice introduced Wednesday by the Ohio Supreme Courtroom additionally vacated an 8- to 12-year jail sentence given to Donald Bertram. The justices as an alternative dominated he ought to be convicted of the lesser offense of misdemeanor legal trespassing, which may convey him lower than a 12 months in jail.

The case stems from a September 2020 incident in Portsmouth. In accordance with court docket paperwork, a house owner was engaged on his property when he heard the loud muffler of a passing automobile. He went inside the home to get his cellphone and, when he got here again outdoors, he made eye contact with Bertram, the motive force of the automobile.


Bertram drove previous the house however then circled and parked on the highway close to the driveway, then began strolling up the driveway to the house’s open storage. The home-owner stated Bertram was smiling, appearing “very cavalier” and had “no sense of urgency” as he walked into the storage, took the leaf blower and walked again to his automobile.

Ohio Alokito Mymensingh 24 graphic

The Ohio Supreme Courtroom has overturned the housebreaking conviction of a person who would have spent as much as 12 years in jail for stealing a $500 leafblower.

Bertram ignored the home-owner’s demand to place down the blower and as an alternative put it on the passenger seat of his automobile and tried to drive off. When the automobile did not instantly begin, the home-owner took a number of close-up images of Bertram earlier than he ultimately drove away.


Bertram was quickly arrested and was convicted of housebreaking. He appealed the jury’s verdict to the Fourth District Courtroom of Appeals, which affirmed the choice, then appealed the case to the state supreme court docket.

Within the choice written by Justice Michael Donnelly, the Supreme Courtroom famous that the decrease courts decided Bertram engaged in stealth and deception as a result of he calmly and silently walked by the home-owner, giving no indication that he supposed to steal something.

Donnelly although, wrote that the proof “completely failed to determine” that Bertram engaged in any “secret, sly, or clandestine conduct,” which should be confirmed to convict somebody of housebreaking.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE Alokito Mymensingh 24 Alokito Mymensingh 24P

In addition to vacating the housebreaking conviction and jail time period, the justices additionally vacated a 491-day sentence Bertram obtained for violating his probation in an unrelated case. They famous a jail time period for violating probation can solely be imposed for committing a felony, and on this case that matter was vacated.

Peter Johnson