A former Cleveland man serving 18 years in prison for the kidnapping and attempted murder of a Brimfield woman in February 2011 has lost an appeal of his conviction and sentence.
Allen B. Kouns, 33, appealed his September 2011 conviction and sentencing to Ohio's 11th District Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel denied his claims that the trial court failed to merge his sentences -- 10 years for attempted murder and eight years for kidnapping, consecutive to each other -- improperly informed him of the charges, improperly sentenced him and that he received ineffective counsel from his attorney.
In the appeal, Kouns argued the kidnapping and attempted murder charges should have been merged at sentencing as "allied offenses of similar import," an argument the judges rejected because the two crimes were distinct.
Kouns was convicted and imprisoned following an incident in Brimfield on Feb. 21, 2011. Early that morning, Brimfield police received numerous 911 calls from residents of the Woodglen Apartments on Edson Road saying a bleeding, naked woman was banging on their doors, asking for help and claiming she had been assaulted in her apartment.
Kouns was arrested at gunpoint after he walked out of the apartment holding a knife.
He pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted murder and kidnapping, both first-degree felonies, and was sentenced by Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman to 18 years in prison in October 2011.
In the appeals court's decision, Judge Mary Jane Trapp wrote: "It is clear that Mr. Kouns was charged with kidnapping based on his holding of (the victim) at knife-point, making physical contact with her, and disconnecting her phone to prevent her from leaving the apartment or calling for help, all in an effort to terrorize her or further commit a crime. ... Mr. Kouns committed the act of attempted murder separately, when he purposely slashed (her) wrists and neck, and waited for her to bleed to death."
Kouns also received effective legal representation, and Pittman did not commit an error by running the two sentences consecutive to each other, the judges concluded.
Kouns' projected release date from prison is February 2029, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
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