WARREN - An assistant prosecutor is strongly opposing entry into an early release prison program for a 31-year-old Hubbard man who was convicted in August for desecrating a military veteran's grave and stealing a statue that he tried to sell for scrap.
Richard Couturiaux, who blamed his crimes on drug use, was sentenced by Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan to 18 months in prison in the case that was monitored closely by local veterans. The sentence included time that was combined with a conviction in a second case disposed of later.
''Indeed, selling a $36,000 military statue for $75 in scrap, or pennies for the pound, and removing a veteran's commemorative military plate reflects that the defendant is morally bankrupt,'' assistant prosecutor Charles Morrow states in his written motion.
Morrow states in the document that drugs should not be used as an excuse and that Logan's original sentence should stand.
''Now after serving less than five months, including credit for time served while awaiting sentencing and less than 15 days after he was sentenced by this court in the second case, the (Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections) has determined that he is eligible for the placement in the Intensive Prison Program,'' Morrow wrote.
''By letter dated Sept. 3, the DRC forwarded a form letter to this court requesting that the defendant be permitted to enter in the IPP, wherein after no more than 90 days, either in house or as an out-patient, the defendant would be released on post release control for up to only one year,'' Morrow wrote.
Logan still can voice his opinion with the DRC.
Couturiaux of North Main Street had remained in Trumbull County Jail since he and another man were arrested after the theft of the brass military statue stolen from an East Side Youngstown cemetery.
Couturiaux pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, vandalism and two counts of desecration, a misdemeanor.
The statue was broken off at the ankles in March. A Youngstown police officer tracked it down April 5 at a scrap yard in Warren.