WARREN - Michael Burnett has a problem with Eric Uphold getting out of prison after serving only three months of a three-year sentence.
Burnett, Trumbull County assistant prosecutor, is now trying to convince Common Pleas Judge John M. Stuard to write to Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and formally oppose Uphold's release to what's known as a Transitional Control Program that allows inmates a supervised release to get a job and work their way back into society.
''ARE YOU KIDDING ME?'' Burnett wrote in the pleading this week to Stuard, urging the judge to enforce the sentence he handed down in February.
Stuard sentenced the 450-pound, tattooed Uphold to two years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of robbery.
Burnett said the large 41-year-old man from Salem didn't even bother to get out of his van Dec. 9 when he asked a 69-year-old woman for directions to the nearest bank.
Burnett said Uphold then grabbed her purse, knocking her down and then sideswiping her 75-year-old husband with his vehicle while making his getaway from the parking lot in front of Pat Catan's at the Ridgeview Plaza in Warren.
Uphold was arrested four days later by police in Lake Milton after pulling off a nearly identical purse snatching episode there that was disposed of as a misdemeanor in Mahoning County Court in Austintown. The crime in Mahoning County violated Uphold's probation there, and Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney sentenced Uphold to a year in prison prior to Stuard tacking on an additional two years for a total of three years in prison.
Sweeney also denied a request for judicial release for Uphold April 17.
Uphold is in Belmont Correctional Institution. He did six months in prison in 2008 for theft and was placed on probation for another theft once he got out.
Burnett said Uphold has been arrested for receiving stolen property, misuse of credit cards and breaking and entering.
''I suppose there could be a benefit to the state's Transitional Control Program, but not for repeat or violent offenders. He shouldn't get out,'' Burnett said earlier this week. ''I understand that the state wants to free up space in the prison, but take someone on a non-violent six-month sentence.''
''This request for Transitional Control is shameful and ridiculous. It is not mindful of the best interests of the community, the legal system or the offender for that matter,'' Burnett wrote in the pleading to Stuard.
''Members of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections should step back and recognize that the citizens of (Ohio) elected judges to make the appropriate decision when sentencing violent criminals not the ODRC. (And looking at THIS request for Transitional Control, one doesn't have to wonder why we leave these decision to judges. It appears that if left unchecked the ODRC would install revolving doors in Ohio's prisons to help release violent felons faster,'' Burnett's motion states.
''This defendant is exactly the type of offender that gives Transitional Control a bad name,'' Burnett wrote.