Leave Feedback

Inmate appealing 25-year gang sentence

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Denarea Swain, 27, recently lost an appeal before the Ohio Sixth District of Appeals, but attorney Geoff Oglesby plans to fight that decision.

“We recently filed a memo in support of jurisdiction to the Ohio Supreme Court. We feel it should be reversed” Oglesby said.

In November 2011, a jury convicted Swain of two counts trafficking in drugs, having a weapon while under disability, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and participating in a criminal gang — a result of a landmark trial, one of the first in Erie County where prosecutors filed formal gang charges against a defendant.

The case relied on testimony from police officers and witnesses, and included a review of Swain’s criminal history to establish a pattern of violence previous to the June 2010 shooting in Sandusky that led prosecutors to file the gang case.

Witnesses at the trial said Swain was one of the people who participated in a Hancock Street shootout between rival gangs, where now-convicted cop killer Kevin Randleman, 52, was struck in the foot by a stray bullet.

Swain was ultimately convicted, with Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette handing down a 25-year sentence and $10,000 fine.

He appealed that decision based on eight alleged assignments of error by Binette’s court. But in early January, a three-judge panel determined those claims had no merit.

Last week, Oglesby said there were additional problems with the trial they planned to address with the Ohio Supreme Court.

In the meantime, Swain remains jailed at the Lorain Correctional Institution, where he’s already served two years of his sentence.

Recommended for You