Appeals court: Woman can’t take back guilty pleas


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The 7th District Court of Appeals ruled a woman who pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence charges and obstruction of justice in a murder case could not take back her guilty pleas.

The court ruled in a 3-0 decision Tuesday that Jasmin Fletcher, 28, did not offer evidence to support how she could defend herself on the charge and she waited almost three years to ask to take her plea back, which was too long.

Fletcher also claimed her lawyer promised her probation, but her plea agreement said “the state will recommend 36 months conditioned upon the defendant’s truthful testimony ...” against her co-defendant, Michael Paige.

Fletcher was sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for her role in the death of Munir Blake, 31, who was shot to death March 1, 2012, in an apartment on Lora Avenue. Police said he argued with Fletcher because he caught her stealing electricity from his North Side apartment.

Police said she initially told them she had no idea who shot Blake, but changed her story later.

Paige was convicted of murder in January 2017 and sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. An earlier jury could not reach a verdict in his case.

Judge Sweeney sentenced Fletcher to five years in prison in January 2017, two years more than what prosecutors recommended.

Fletcher did win two parts of her appeal, however.

The appellate court ruled she was not notified that she would be on probation and what the terms of that probation would be if she is released, and that a sentencing entry filed when Fletcher was given five years in prison was not properly done because it did not state why she should be sentenced on concurrent charges.

The case has been remanded back to Judge Sweeney for resentencing.

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