Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Sixth District: Mom Involved in Toddler Son’s Death Loses Appeal

An Erie County woman sentenced to 11 years behind bars for allowing her boyfriend to physically abuse her 3-year-old son, which resulted in his death, has lost her appeal.

According to documents released yesterday, the Sixth District Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court didn’t err when it sentenced 24-year-old Danielle Flannery to the maximum prison term possible.

The Erie County Common Pleas Court found Flannery guilty of the first-degree felony of permitting child abuse and sentenced her in February 2014 to 11 years in prison and 5 years postrelease control. Three other charges, including involuntary manslaughter, were dropped in a plea deal.

Flannery’s son died after her live-in boyfriend, Michael Milner, beat him to death. Flannery and Milner told police officers conflicting stories ranging from the boy falling and hitting his head on a toy to the boy somehow beat himself up.

Records also showed a history of child abuse investigations involving the boy and Milner prior to the boy’s death and that Flannery didn’t fully cooperate in those investigations.

Flannery appealed her sentence arguing that she shouldn’t have to serve the maximum prison term for her one offense and said the trial court abused its discretion for refusing to delay her sentencing hearing so she could review grand jury testimony.

In the Sixth District’s unanimous ruling, Judge Thomas J. Osowik wrote that the statutory sentencing range for the first-degree felony was between three and 11 years. “Thus, we find that the 11-year term of incarceration imposed in this case clearly falls within the permissible range.”

Judge Osowik went on to write: “The record contains ample evidence establishing that the trial court properly considered the R.C. 2929.11 purposes and principles of sentencing and the R.C. 2929.12 seriousness and recidivism factors. The court further reflects that the trial court properly applied postrelease control.”

In regard to Flannery’s second argument that the trial court refused to give her a continuance, the court determined that one and a half hours was appropriate for her “short” request and that no objections were made during that time.

Judges Mark L. Pietrykowski and James D. Jensen concurred in the decision.

In August 2014, Milner was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for killing the boy. He is currently appealing his sentence in the Sixth District.

State v. Flannery, 2015-Ohio-388
Criminal Appeal From: Erie County Court of Common Pleas
Judgment Appealed From Is: Affirmed
Date of Judgment Entry on Appeal: Jan. 30, 2015

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