Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced that the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office will appeal a recent decision by Judge Kari Bloom to release a juvenile offender from the Department of Youth Services.
On September 24, 2018, J.H. entered into a plea agreement with the State of Ohio relating to a 2018 crime-spree that spanned multiple jurisdictions. J.H. was charged with 5 counts of Burglary (F2), 3 counts of Theft of a Motor Vehicle (F4), one count of Robbery (F2), and one count of Felonious Assault (F2). The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion to have J.H. tried as an adult. If J.H. had been convicted on all counts as an adult, he faced a maximum possible sentence of 60 years in prison.
These offenses occurred in Delhi Township, Green Township, Indian Hill, Madeira, Cincinnati, and Woodlawn.
Due to J.H.’s age, prosecutors, police, and victims agreed that it was appropriate for J.H. to remain in the juvenile system, so long as J.H. agreed to serve a 6 year sentenced at the Department of Youth Services (juvenile prison). As a part of this plea agreement, J.H. and the court agreed J.H. would not be considered for early release.
In April of 2022, the Ohio State Public Defender’s Office filed a motion for early release on behalf of J.H.
On July 26, 2022, over prosecutor’s, victims’, and law enforcement objection, Judge Kari Bloom released J.H. one year early.
As a part of his release, Judge Bloom ordered J.H. to write a letter about his understanding of how his actions caused fear for the victims.
Yesterday, the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office filed an appeal to enforce the terms of the plea agreement.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters commented, “This decision is a slap in the face to the numerous victims impacted by this guy. There are families who, to this day, do not feel safe in their homes because of his actions.
Our victims, police, and prosecutors agreed to this plea with the understanding that this violent offender would not get out a single day short of his full sentence. We fully expected all parties; prosecution, defense, and the judge to honor this agreement.
This office cannot continue to negotiate pleas in Judge Kari Bloom’s court if we cannot trust that the parties are negotiating in good faith. I will not ask our victims to accept a plea deal if we cannot guarantee them an appropriate outcome.
We are hopeful the First District Court of Appeals will right this wrong and prevent future injustices like this one.”