(VitalNews.org) – Following several years of court appeals, an Ohio woman has been told that her 65-year sentence will not be overturned. Susan Gwynne, formerly a nurse’s aide who worked in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, was sentenced to serve multiple consecutive sentences after pleading guilty in 2016 to a years-long crime spree in which she stole various items from the elderly people she was employed to care for. She pleaded guilty to 46 out of the 101 charges, which included theft, burglary, and receipt of stolen property.
Gwynne told the court that she began stealing items from elderly patients’ rooms in 2004 in order to fund her cocaine addiction. Even after being fired from her job, she would dress up in her uniform in order to gain entry to the same assisted living facilities and continue her criminal activities. Authorities found over 3,000 stolen items in her home, including jewelry, watches, and even photographs. At the time of sentencing, the judge ruled that her offending was so severe that no single prison sentences would suffice, ordering her to carry out multiple sentences one after the other, effectively condemning her to spend the rest of her life behind bars. During the trial, Gwynne apologized to her victims and said that her drug problems had fueled her criminal actions.
Her 65-year sentence was overturned in 2017 after the Fifth District Court of Appeals decided that she should instead serve just 15 years for her crimes. The court argued that her age, lack of violent conduct, and the fact that she did not have a previous criminal record all acted in her favor. This decision was overturned just two years later by the high court but was later ordered to be reconsidered by the state’s Supreme Court. Finally, the Ohio Supreme Court agreed with the original 65-year sentence. Susan Gwynne is now 62 years of age and would not be due for release until 2081.
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