Cops and Courts

Prosecutor says judge wasn't 'duty-bound' to release woman in fatal crash


ELYRIA — Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will believes a judge had the autonomy to reject judicial release for Adrianna Young even though the judge contends he made an agreement for it with her defense counsel at the time of her sentencing.

On Thursday, Judge Jim Miraldi granted Young, 26, of Oberlin, judicial release from prison after she served eight months of a 4½-year sentence he imposed in May. Young had pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and other charges after crashing her car into a home and killing Debra Majkut and injuring her infant son in July 2015.

Defense attorney Jack Bradley said during the hearing Thursday that Miraldi was “duty-bound” to grant Young her release from prison after his statement during her sentencing.

Will disagreed, saying there was no plea agreement between the state and Young.

“I’m not sure exactly what the judge was intending when he made whatever statements he made in the sentencing,” Will said. “I know he alluded he would consider letting her out if she was a good prisoner, but this was not part of any negotiated plea agreement. We did not agree with it, and we were not in agreement with it from the start.”

A judge operates under the guidelines of the Ohio Revised Code, which spells out reasons why a judge would consider someone for judicial release, according to Will. He said he’s seen other judges deny an inmate judicial release because “they don’t feel they’ve done enough time yet.”

Will said Miraldi could have scheduled a later hearing for Young or even made her serve the entire sentence.

“He was not bound by the fact that he said he would consider it,” Will said. “This was not something where she sacrificed something to get it. It was simply a statement at sentencing.”

Miraldi was completely within his rights to grant the release, though.

“Sentencing is clearly his purview,” Will said. “As long as it’s within the realm of the Ohio Revised Code and the statutory guidelines, he can consider anybody that’s eligible for judicial release. We can oppose it. If he decides he’s going to grant it, there’s nothing I can do other than oppose it on the record and make sure that our position is known.”

Will said there may be a legal basis for an appeal, but he’s not sure it would overturn the decision and they could end up in the same place they are now.

“We are researching the position, and I’ve been researching it ever since she filed,” he said. “Am I going to say we’re going to appeal it? No. Am I going to say we’re not going to appeal it? No. It’s under consideration.”

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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