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Ruling: Man won't be resentenced in murders



Published: Thu, July 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



One shooting happened at a Newton Township home in June 2000.

WARREN -- The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a city man convicted of two counts of aggravated murder does not have to be resentenced.

The Trumbull County prosecutor in May 2004 had asked the state to review the 11th District Court of Appeals decision ordering that Eric Lee Porterfield be resentenced.

"We felt it was not good precedent -- not only for the five counties that comprise District 11, but for all appellate districts," said LuWayne Annos, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor. "You are not supposed to appeal a sentence they have agreed on."

Porterfield pleaded guilty in October 2002 to two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count each of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.

Porterfield was charged with the deaths of Charles Mathey III, 40, and Garry Bell, 40, and the attempted murder of David Harper in a shooting at Harper's Newton Township home in June 2000.

Sentencing error

The 11th District Court had ruled in February 2004 that Porterfield be resentenced because Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court erred during sentencing, by not stating on the record why the defendant was receiving consecutive prison terms.

Judge McKay sentenced Porterfield to 53 years to life in prison.

Annos said her office did not believe a trial court is required to state the reasons when the state and the defendant both recommend the sentence.

"He knew what the findings were and agreed to them, and he agreed to the number of years he got," she said.

Porterfield, 32, has remained in prison.

Annos said the county prosecutor's office was assisted by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, which wrote a friend of the court brief. "They really helped us," she said.




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