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Appeals court upholds two local rulings, vacates a third

Appeals court judges upheld rulings in two local cases while vacating a conviction in a 2007 robbery of a local cash loan operation.

Recent Third District Court of Appeals rulings upheld the sentencing of Michael Robinson, and a jury award of $400,000 in wrongful death case against Dr. Paul Bonetzky D.O.

However, John Rohrbaugh’s guilty plea to receiving stolen property was vacated because the judges ruled it was an improper amendment of a breaking and entering charge.

Mr. Rohrbaugh, 33, was indicted on eight charges after he was found with $5,227 in cash taken from First Check Cash Advance, 1447 S. Main St., in February 2007.

He entered his guilty plea believing restitution had been made to the business, but it was ordered he pay an additional $4,733. He admits he was given money from the break-in but maintains he was not involved in the crime.

The appeals court said the crime of receiving stolen property is completely different from breaking and entering, and therefore, violates Mr. Rohrbaugh’s right to a grand jury indictment.

The prosecution must get a new indictment on the receiving charge or have Mr. Rohrbaugh plead to a bill of information.

Mr. Robinson, 45, had filed an appeal of his 14-year sentence for felonious assault, child endangering and domestic violence in the February 2007 severe beating of his then 11-month-old son, Dana Robinson.

The judges ruled Logan County Judge Mark S. O’Connor had the authority to impose consecutive sentences of seven years each on the assault and endangering charges in February this year.

They also rejected arguments that the original indictments were improperly amended and that the court erred when it convicted Mr. Robinson on the three charges.

In the wrongful death case, the estate of Billy Kritzwiser sued Dr. Bonetzky maintaining he did not inform Mr. Kritzwiser of an elevated prostate specific antigen after a 1998 blood test.

Mr. Kritzwiser was later diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002 while under the care of family physician Dr. Cheryl Mann and urologist Dr. Matthew Hasford. The cancer returned in 2004 and Mr. Kritzwiser and his wife, Faye, filed lawsuits in 2005 against the three doctors.

They settled with Drs. Mann and Hasford, but the case against Dr. Bonetzky went to trial in August 2007, about four months after Mr. Kritzwizer died.

Dr. Bonetzky appealed the $400,000 jury award claiming he should not have to pay more than what Drs. Mann and Hasford paid individually and that the court failed to inform the jury of liabilities of others in Mr. Kritzwizer’s case.

The appeals court rejected both of Dr. Bonetzky’s claims.

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