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APPEALS Court rethinks men's sentences



Published: Sat, June 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The three men will not be released, but their sentences will be shortened.

YOUNGSTOWN -- An appellate court on Friday threw out in part the convictions of three men who are serving time for the 2001 armed kidnapping, rape and robbery of a Youngstown woman.

Andre Bundy, 21, Brandon Moore, 18, and Chaz Bunch, 20, were convicted in 2002 for their roles in the August 2001 kidnapping, rape and robbery of a Youngstown woman as she arrived at her Detroit Avenue workplace.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum sentenced Moore to 141 years and Bunch to 108 years in prison on kidnapping, rape and robbery charges. Bundy was sentenced to 18 years for robbery.

Friday's decision does not mean that the three men will be released. The appellate court's decision will shorten their sentences.

The 7th District Court of Appeals vacated convictions of all three men on charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, writing in three separate opinions that the indictments on that charge did not contain sufficient evidence to charge them with the crime.

But in a 2-1 decision, the court let stand a conviction and sentence against Bundy on a charge of aggravated robbery, stating in its opinion that the court correctly imposed a maximum sentence "because it found that he committed the worst form of the offense."

Sentencing errors

In its opinions on Moore's and Bunch's appeals, the court found errors in sentencing by Judge Krichbaum in both cases.

Moore's convictions, part of a 12-count indictment, included sentencing on firearms specifications on 10 counts. In returning the case to common pleas court, the appeals court said that the gun specifications sentences are limited to one prison term for the combined specifications in two counts of the indictment and three separate prison terms for the specifications in eight other counts.

Each conviction on gun specifications can add a maximum of five years to a sentence.

In addition to vacating the conviction and eight-year conspiracy sentence for Bunch, the court also threw out a three-year sentence on a firearm specification accompanying that conviction.

The court also found errors in Judge Krichbaum's imposition of maximum, consecutive sentences for Bunch's other convictions, which included aggravated robbery, three counts of rape, three counts of complicity to rape, kidnapping and aggravated menacing.

The court reversed those sentences and also reversed Judge Krichbaum's imposition of nine three-year gun specifications on those charges, to be served consecutively. According to the opinion, sentencing guidelines limit courts to three separate prison terms for gun specifications.

In a separate opinion, Judge Mary DeGenaro disagreed with that interpretation.

"I do not believe we can tell the trial court how many consecutive gun specifications it can give in this case," she said.

The case will be sent back to Judge Krichbaum for resentencing and, according to the opinion, Bunch can be sentenced to a maximum of 89 years in prison.




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