Wednesday, February 2, 2011

15 Years and then some....:)

Irwin gets extra time for attacks on jail staff

February 2, 2011 - By MARY ANN GREIER
LISBON - A judge delivered a prosecutor-requested message to convicted killer Andrew Irwin and his fellow inmates Tuesday: attacks against jail personnel carry consequences.
For the 29-year-old Irwin, the consequence is 18 months in prison for assaulting one corrections officer and spitting at another one in July while awaiting his new trial for murder in the 2006 stabbing death of Emily Foreman.
That sentence is in addition to the indefinite term of 15 years to life he received for the second time for killing the 21-year-old Foreman on Aug. 23, 2006 in her mother's Liverpool Township home.
"He's where he belongs," Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron said after the sentencing hearing.
Herron spoke little about the sentence for murder, noting to Judge C. Ashley Pike of Common Pleas Court that the 15 years to life term is dictated by law. For the other
charges, though, he said the thinking of Irwin and other inmates in the same pod at the jail was that any sentence they received for actions inside the lockup would be concurrent, or served at the same time as the sentence for whatever crime put them into jail in the first place.
"The court should sentence the defendant so the defendant understands there are consequences for his conduct," Herron said.
Then he showed the judge a videotape of Irwin's conduct inside the jail on a day in August, after he had already been charged for the assault and spitting. Defense attorney Fred Naragon objected, calling the contents of the videotape inflammatory and noting his client had not been charged for any actions related to what the videotape showed.
Herron said the video would demonstrate the likeliness of Irwin's conduct being repeated. He also said Irwin had no remorse for his conduct. Pike overruled Naragon's objection and watched the video from a computer on the bench, his eyebrows visibly raising during a portion of the video which included sound of Irwin yelling at jail personnel and making threats like "you're in for it."
After the video was over, Herron said it "clearly shows the defendant in an uncontrollable rage."
He also said the shocking conduct, such as Irwin exposing himself to corrections officers during the tirade, was typical of him, according to jail staff.
Defense attorney Jennifer Gorby asked the court to make the sentence for assault and harassment charges concurrent, or served at the same time as the murder sentence instead of in addition to the murder sentence.She reminded the court that Irwin testified when he pleaded guilty to the jail charges that he did not purposely spit on the jailer, but as a reflex after being maced.
As for the video, she said that incident, the assault and a previous vandalism incident were the only incidents she knew of involving her client at the jail. During her visits with him, she said he was respectful of the correction officers.
Herron also asked that Irwin receive no credit toward the 18-month sentence for the time he's been serving in the jail, since he had a recognizance bond for that charge and was in the jail for the murder charge. Gorby claimed that he had refused to sign the recognizance bond.
Prior to sentencing, Kim Koerber, Emily's mother, expressed a wish that Irwin never be allowed to walk free again as justice for Emily and for Emily's 7-year-old daughter, Khia.
She said her granddaughter still has memories of her mother, but now she calls her in heaven.
"No 7-year-old should have to do that," she said.
Koerber asked Pike to put Irwin away forever.
"Let's just have justice for Emily's little girl," she said.
How long Irwin will have to stay in prison will depend on the parole board. He received credit against the murder sentence for the four years and 162 days he has already served, both in prison and in the county jail, leaving 11 years and 203 days to serve before he's eligible for parole on that charge.
He also has to serve the additional 18 months for assault and harassment with a bodily substance, since Pike ordered the 9-month terms for each charge served consecutive to each other and consecutive to the murder sentence.
"I think the court sentence sends a clear message that when we prosecute, and we will prosecute, these offenses in the jail, there will be consequences," Herron said. "We're not going to tolerate inmates making our corrections officers punching bags and assault victims."
Since the jury issued its verdict last week, Herron said Irwin hadn't been a problem.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at

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