Inmate appealing 25-year gang sentence

A convicted gang member is again taking action to reverse his 25-year prison sentence
Courtney Astolfi
Feb 24, 2014
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.

Comments

Cowboy

Rot in jail! You ain't gettin out!

There you go again

I don't live in Sandusky but haven't we heard the name "Swain" a few times?!?!

Tsu Dho Nimh

How many more appeals do we have to pay for?

AEversole

You guys dont know what your talking about , is he an angel? No of course not , no one is . And 25 years for really not being able to prove anything except you hang out with your friends who are also profiled as gang members.... its not worthy of a murder sentence and anyone who thinks so is obviously an idiot....25 yrs . And a killer gets 15 , a molester gets 8, a rapiest gets 12... how can you justify 25.... no one is dead or even injured for that matter. No. One got caught with any significant amount of weight....its bull and another case of a young black male getting an excessive sentence..

JohnDorian12

You're defending this piece of garbage, and you call others idiots?? Really?? He has been nothing but trouble since he was a kid and he is right where he should be, but longer than 25 years!!!

Bottom Line

Okay so who had their money on four posts until someone played the race card? Because yeah that's why he got what he got... God, you're pathetic.

Babo

I agree with you. This sentence is excessive and not proportionate to the crimes committed and proven.

Are you listening Attorney Oglesby? Somebody really needs to conduct an analysis of sentences by Judge Binette based on race and gender.

Babo

Sorry double post

SPEEDY GONZALEZ

THEY TALK ABOUT THE CRIME RATE IN SANDUSKY AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME. IT'S TIME SOMEONE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THESE MAGGOT'S THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT GONNA BE VICTIMS IN THIS AREA, AND PUT UP WITH THE INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING TACTICS ANY LONGER. IF YOU'RE SHOOTING AT PEOPLE AND ENGAGING IN A PATTERN OF CORRUPT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, THEN DON'T CRY WHEN THEY THROW THE BOOK AT YOU. HE IS WHAT A MENACE TO SOCIETY LOOKS LIKE, AND HE WON'T BE SHOOTING AND BULLYING ON THE OUTSIDE ANYMORE!! SEE YA!!

Stop It

Knock off the screaming and one might read your post. Who knows, it could've been a good one.

deertracker

Blacks get longer sentences and always have. Binette is obviously unfair. 25 yrs. is just ridiculous!

AEversole

Bet he doesn't get the full 25.... No way not when their is no real victim, and no large qaunity of dope. I think you should get 25 years if you kill someone, rape someone, torture, beat to extream injury, molest, and that's about it,, 25 years for drugs or people saying your in a gang....lol that's a joke..... So if I have a record and you say I'm in a gang and involved in ongoing crime , a judge has the right to give me 25 years.... Why ? What's the proof ? My criminal record? Most people get 3 years for trafficking, and know one knows for sure if he was a triggerman in any shooting. No surveillance, no gun, no gun shot residue. So what do you have , another criminal saying you shot a cop killer in the foot. OK.. It is stupidity. If he was not associated with his click, and labeled a "gang member" he would be doing 3-5... So how do you justify a life sentence. He isn't john gotti, or Vinny the chin....They really are stretching here.... I seen that there are a few people that have a significant amount of less time for att . murder and almost killing people.... I would rather live next door to swain than anyone of these child predators and rapist that only get a dime, and are out in 6..... It is a little extream. That's just my opinion, weather it is a good one or not , who knows.

DGMutley

AEversole,

You're right.

AEversole

Him and his brother grew up with me and they were both always good to me, never had a problem out of anyone in his family. I worked with his mom and she is one of the kindest , coolest , woman I've had the privilege of meeting. She would give her arm to help anyone............I feel like this young man should have another shot at life before he is almost 60!!!!! Should he have got a few years ? Yes of course, but not more time than a killer. Their is no way I can even compare the two

DickTracey

He was arrested 32 times, prior to this. His mom may have been cool, but she did not do a very good job raising a law abiding son.

Who is paying for his three kids to be raised?

AEversole

In Norwalk reflector, man convicted of raping a minor, 3-5 ?......and this is justice.how do you compare the two????????

Julie R.

I agree. Black people seem to get a lot harsher sentences in comparison to whites for identical crimes, yet don't the Rules for Professional Conduct say that judges are supposed to follow their own and/or the precedent of other judges in similar cases to avoid any hints of impropriety? Not that it surprises me that they don't. In Erie County they don't even follow the LAWS much less the Rules for Professional Conduct!

deertracker

You answered your own question. Let's just say it's because they are BLACK!

Julie R.

Black people might unfairly get harsher prison sentences than whites for similar crimes like these but believe me when I say black people aren't the ONLY ones that get scr*wed over big time in corrupt Erie County. I know some attorneys and other dirt-bags from Huron ~ including an insurance agent and the manager of a Huron bank ~ that must STILL be laughing over the flat-out crimes those jokes at the corrupt Erie County courthouse made sure they got away.

deertracker

Agreed!

Dr. Information

Keep feeling sorry for yourselves because of your color and using the race card. Gets your absolutely nowhere.

WATCHED_1s

Except disliked by people like myself who are tired of hearing this race card be pulled. Be happy you're free lol. He is a career criminal who is where he belongs. He will most likely get out in 6 years but will have a lengthy sentence over his head. Smart move on the judges part.

deertracker

You just like to say race card! NEXT!

WATCHED_1s

You annoy the $hit out of me. NEXT!

AEversole

Weather your tired of hearing it or not, racism, and discrimination are a very real problem in this country. It was just 50 years ago, when blacks had to attend a seperate school, diner,restroom, water fountain, public pool,and it was nearly impossible for people of color to get a good job , even when more qualified. They have been held down, beat down, and discriminated against for hundreds of years, and you people that don't recognize this, look the other way, and deny that it is still happening are part of the problem, and your blindness is closely related to ignorance.
And for people to say he has a long record . OMG he was arrested 32 times. Pretty much all minor misdemeanors, and worthy of a summons, ticket, or a night or two in the county.,. He is a kid , and when I was his age I had a few dozen run ins with the law myself. No felonies, and have only been in the county twice, for a week once, and a few weeks on another. I was a young , dumb, punk that did what I wanted , when I wanted. But luckily what you do when your a kid doesn't have to define your life as you grow up , and the man you become. But with this sentence Mr Swain will not have this chance, and its unfortunate. He has the potential to be a great man, and a great father. If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

DGMutley

Props!