The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a 65-year prison term for Susan Gwynne, a former nurse’s aide who pleaded guilty to stealing jewelry and other valuables from elderly residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Gwynne, now 62, admitted to 46 out of 101 charges, including burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property. She confessed to stealing items such as jewelry and watches from patients’ rooms to support her cocaine habit while working as a nurse in 2004. Despite being fired, she continued stealing from rooms at facilities in Delaware County and Franklin County while wearing her uniform. Investigators discovered over 3,000 stolen items at her home.
The trial court initially imposed consecutive sentences, stating that no single prison term would be sufficient given the severity of the offenses. In 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeals overturned the sentence, arguing that Gwynne’s age and status as a nonviolent first-time offender warranted a 15-year prison term. However, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed this decision in 2019, instructing the appeals court to reconsider. The lower court subsequently upheld the 65-year term, citing its lack of authority to modify consecutive sentences. In December, the state Supreme Court voted 4-3 to send the case back for reconsideration. However, in January, after a change in the court’s composition, it voted 4-3 to reconsider its own decision. Last week, the high court, divided in its ruling, determined that the consecutive terms were appropriately imposed.
Susan Gwynne is currently incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville and is not scheduled for release until 2081, according to The Columbus Dispatch.