Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Court affirms two Butler cases

By Janice Morse jmorse@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN - The Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals has upheld two notable Butler County convictions, but ordered that one defendant be resentenced.

        In a decision released Monday, the court said the conviction on three counts of rape, two counts of aggravated murder and a count of attempted rape would stand for Christopher Fuller, 32, of Hamilton.

        In 2000, a jury convicted Mr. Fuller of killing his 2-year-old daughter, Randi, while trying to rape her.

        Butler County Common Pleas Judge Matthew J. Crehan rejected the jury's recommendation for the death penalty and instead sentenced Mr. Fuller to life in prison without possibility of parole.

        The judge cited Mr. Fuller's lack of prior criminal record, his remorse, and his mental conditions among the factors that influenced his decision to spare Mr. Fuller's life.

        In a separate case, the appeals court affirmed the conviction of Timothy O'Connor, 57, who had pleaded no contest to 15 charges and was sentenced to serve six years in prison and to pay a $10,000 fine.

        However, the appellate judges said the trial court should have spelled out its reasons for imposing consecutive sentences, and remanded Mr. O'Connor's case back to the Common Pleas Court for resentencing.

        The case against Mr. O'Connor surfaced in 1999, when he had taken his computer to a Warren County computer repairman. The repairman discovered that the computer contained files of young children involved in sex acts with other children, adults and animals. The repairman informed authorities about the computer's contents, leading to charges against Mr. O'Connor in both Warren and Butler counties.

        The Warren charges ended with Mr. O'Connor being sentenced to probation.


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