Woman in Kaluza case takes appeal to state high court

By joe gorman



The woman who helped plan the robbery of a former restaurant manager, a crime that left him paralyzed, is appealing her sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Hattie Gilbert, 26, filed a notice of appeal Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a decision by the 7th District Court of Appeals that has rejected her appeals.

Also appealing his 7th District decision is Melvin Shaw, 21, who had his convictions of aggravated murder and felonious assault upheld in a decision issued in late October.

In the Gilbert matter, she was sentenced to 50 years in prison for her role in the robbery of Joe Kaluza, a former manager of the South Avenue Kentucky Fried Chicken, on March 24, 2008.

Kaluza was robbed and shot as he was driving to the bank to make a deposit. The shooting left him paralyzed.

Gilbert was convicted of staging an accident so that her boyfriend, Taran Helms, 28, could then rob Kaluza. Testimony at their trial also showed that for two weeks before the robbery, Gilbert stalked Kaluza so she could know his routines.

Gilbert was convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, complicity to commit felonious assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Helms also received a 50-year sentence.

In 2012, the appeals court denied her appeal on her four charges but did order her resentenced because the appeals court ruled four separate firearm specifications should have been merged into one at sentencing.

Earlier this year, the appeals court rejected another claim from Gilbert asking that her two complicity counts be merged.

The notice for appeal filed Tuesday did not specify what issue Gilbert wants the state court to look at.

Shaw was convicted in May 2012 of the June 19, 2010, murder of Tracee Banks, 17, and wounding of Jamel Turner, 18, at a house on the West Side. He was sentenced to 62 years in prison in May 2012 after being convicted by a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Although the appeals court denied his appeal to overturn his convictions, it did say that charges of murder and felonious assault should be merged and that Shaw has to be resentenced because of that.

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