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No break from jail

September 11, 2012
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

LISBON - Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge Scott Washam has denied the request of Joseph Eltringham to have a 48-hour period of electronically monitored release prior to his upcoming sentencing for charges of aggravated robbery, felonious assault and intimidation.

Eltringham, 45, East Rochester Road, East Rochester pleaded guilty to the charges on Aug. 23 and faces up to 21 years in prison, although Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart said he will ask for 10 years at the upcoming sentencing hearing on Nov. 1.

In Friday's ruling on Eltringham's motion, Washam stated he considered on one hand the high-level felony offenses, which included the intimidation of the elderly victim, World War II veteran Robert Kastelic. He also said he considered the prosecution's additional concerns about Eltringham becoming a flight risk after pleading guilty.

On the other hand, Washam considered Eltringham's lengthy military service to his country and the fact he had no prior criminal record. Eltringham had spent 23 years serving with the National Guard.

Washam called the fact bail was raised following the preliminary hearing in Columbiana County Municipal Court shortly after the attack "of great significance."

At that hearing, Kastelic had taken the stand, still bruised from the attack, and testified about the night Eltringham had come to his home, grabbed the then 86-year-old Kastelic by the neck, threatened to kill him and severely beat him over a 30-minute time frame. Eltringham then reportedly stole $400 from Kastelic's wallet, asked if he could keep a ladder he had previously borrowed from Kastelic and went after title paperwork for Kastelic's pickup and his home.

Washam additionally wrote in his ruling his research had not revealed another case where a defendant, unable to post bail, was released on electronic monitoring.

"The seriousness nature of these offenses and the life-threatening injuries caused to the elderly victim outweigh in the mind of the court any private benefit that may be gained by granting the defendant's request," Washam wrote.

Defense attorney Richard Hura and Eltringham had requested he be allowed time in a hotel to spend with his family, including his elderly mother.



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