A Kent woman who burglarized five houses in the city in October and November 2012 to feed an addiction to opiates was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.
Angela M. Cunard, 34, formerly of 1020 Lake St., was sentenced by Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow. She pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary, all second-degree felonies, in January, and received four years in prison on each charge, all to run concurrent to one another.
Cunard and her attorney, Mark Carfolo of the Portage County Public Defender's Office, blamed the crimes on Cunard's drug addiction. Carfolo said his client has a "long history of substance abuse," beginning with marijuana and leading to cocaine, methamphetamine and finally opiates, a category of drugs that includes heroin, morphine and codeine. He said Cunard tried to burglarize empty homes to avoid confrontations with the residents.
Carfolo asked Enlow to consider Cunard for court-ordered drug treatment instead of prison time, saying that she had been accepted at the Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program in Warren. For her part, Cunard told Enlow she was so "deep in my addiction, I didn't know what I was doing."
Kent police arrested Cunard following an investigation into the burglaries on Dansel and Harvey streets and Miller Avenue -- all close to Cunard's Lake Street address-- and Bryce Road, on Kent's west side, between Oct. 30 and Nov. 26, 2012. Cunard was arrested by Kent police detectives and indicted Nov. 29 on five counts of burglary. She has been incarcerated in the Portage County jail since that time, pending trial.
Assistant Portage County Prosecutor Eric Finnegan told Enlow his office had no sentencing recommendation, but noted that Cunard's crimes were "obviously pretty traumatic" for the victims.
Among those victims were Christopher and Marita Stoner, who as part of a victim impact statement told Enlow they "never believed we'd experience such a violation of our security."
Christopher Stoner said he and his wife previously lived in New York City "with bars on the windows" and in Phoenix, Ariz., " where we heard gunshots all the time and police helicopters overhead." Those experiences made them "more cautious about home security," he said.
On Oct. 30, 2012, the couple arrived home with their 2-year-old son to find their house ransacked.
The Stoners suffered sleepless nights and had to change their banking information to prevent identity theft, they said. Marita Stoner also suffered health problems, which she said possibly stemmed from the stress the situation created.
"Seeing that our home had been violated was sickening," she told Enlow. "The worst part was the loss of our point-and-shoot cameras, our videocamera and computer containing every shot of our son's life up to that point."
In addition to prison time, Enlow also ordered Cunard to pay restitution to several of her victims, including more than $1,125 to a Harvey Street couple and another $46 to a Bryce Road couple. After consulting with Carfolo and Finnegan, Enlow set another hearing on restitution for March 20.