A Hillsboro man was released from prison yesterday after it was determined there was an error in the original sentencing guidelines that were applied, according to court documents.
Court documents say James Willey, 32, was sentenced to three years of community control sanctions in May 2007 after being found guilty of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, a fourth-degree felony.
According to a memorandum filed by the state public defender’s office March 23, Willey was told during his sentencing hearing he would be subject to a possible three-year period of post-release control after serving his sentence – contrary to Ohio Revised Code, which states that in cases of felony sex offense, offenders are subject to a mandatory five-year period of PRC after serving their prescribed sentence.
In August of 2009, Willey was found to have violated his community control sanctions and was sentenced to nine months in prison, according to the memorandum. In that sentencing entry, it was again stated that Willey was subject to an “optional” three-year term of post-release control sanctions, and a portion of the entry describing PRC as “mandatory” was crossed out.
Willey completed that sentence in May 2010, according to the memorandum. A little more than a year later, Willey was found guilty of child endangering and sentenced to two years in prison. In addition to that sentence, he was ordered to serve in prison whatever time was left on a five-year term of post-release control sanctions – the correct amount of PRC time prescribed in the ORC, but not the amount of PRC time that was initially ordered.
At the time the memorandum was filed, it states Willey had completed his two-year prison term and was incarcerated solely on the PRC violation sentence, which the memorandum stated was void because the PRC was not properly imposed in the first place.
On Monday, Judge Rocky Coss, who did not preside over Wiley’s initial case, ordered that sentence be vacated and that Willey be released from prison – although Coss reminded Willey he is subject to mandatory PRC in the case, and that if he commits a new felony, he could be sentenced to an additional period of one year or whatever time remains on the initial PRC period consecutive to any prison term imposed in that case, according to court documents.
Willey was ordered to report to the parole office immediately after release, according to court documents.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.