By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County Prosecutor’s office has again asked a judge to decline a request by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to allow a military-statue thief to leave prison early.
Chuck Morrow, an assistant county prosecutor, filed a motion with Judge Andrew Logan of common pleas court asking that he object to Richard Couturiaux, 31, of Hubbard being placed in the prison system’s transitional-control program.
Couturiaux was sentenced to 26 months in prison Aug. 20 for the March 2013 statue crimes at the Mahoning Valley Memorial Park in Youngstown and a separate 2012 home burglary in Hubbard Township.
The transitional-control program involves putting an inmate in a licensed facility such as a halfway house or approved residence under electronic monitoring for the final 180 days of his or her sentence, the ODRC website says.
In September, the prison system asked Judge Logan if Couturiaux could be placed in a “Second Chance To Change” program that would involve 90 days in an in-house or outpatient rehabilitation program. He would then be released on probation.
But Judge Logan objected to that request, and Couturiaux remained in prison.
Morrow said Couturiaux should not be considered for the transitional-control program any more than the Second Chance program because of the “reprehensible” nature of Couturiaux’s offenses.
Couturiaux stole a $36,000 military statue and a bronze military grave marker from the cemetery, then chopped up the statue and was videotaped selling pieces of it at a Girard scrap yard.
“He needs to be punished for his inexcusable attack on the very people who have died to protect his rights,” Morrow said.
“This is not a person who should be bestowed any more breaks. Indeed ... this defendant is a career criminal, and another ‘rehabilitation program’ is not going to change his vocation,” Morrow said.
“The only way to slow down the defendant’s life of crime is to keep him behind bars so that he is physically precluded from committing offenses against the general public.”