OTTAWA — A Toledo man who forced a woman to drive him out of Columbus Grove before taking her vehicle, cell phone and money was sentenced Monday to 11 to 15 years in prison.
James M. Phillips, 39, of Toledo, appeared in court with his attorney Chris Woodworth, of Strongsville, before Putnam County Common Pleas Judge Keith Schierloh, who handed down the sentence.
Phillips previously pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges. Since he agreed to plead guilty, prosecutors dropped a second charge of grand theft, the least serious charge.
Phillips will receive eight years minimum to a maximum of 12 years for count one for the aggravated robbery charge, a felony of the first degree. He also received a mandatory three-year prison term at Ohio Department of Corrections on the gun specification charge and six years on count three of kidnapping. He also will be required to pay the victim, Addie Kiene, $1,345 in restitution.
Schierloh said Phillips has 29 infractions dating back to 1998 that include theft, burglary, driving on a suspended license and probation violations. He said Phillips has expressed remorse for the incident in Putnam County but did not believe he would not commit future offenses.
Phillips also has a history of drug and alcohol abuse that he was being treated for.
“You need to start taking some steps to change. You have time to change, but I don’t see it,” Schierloh said.
Phillips’ family and Kiene and her family also were present in court during Monday’s sentencing.
Kiene wore a shirt in court Monday that read “Strong Women Pray” and gave a victim impact statement and then prayed in court for the situation.
“I just wanted to say how this has impacted me mentally and financially, but luckily I was not physically harmed,” she said. She said she has had night terrors since the incident and is afraid to go shopping alone.
“My hope in this is that I can heal from this, and I have a great amount of people who have stood behind me,” she said. “My hope also is that James gets better, and whatever your sentence is that he finds his way back to being a productive member of society.”
Phillips provided a statement during his sentencing in court Monday.
“I apologize to the victim, her family, my family and the community, and I’m remorseful for my actions. I was at a dark place that changed my way of thinking, and it’s not who I am,” Phillips said.
The incident on Nov. 2 started at the Dollar General store in Columbus Grove. Phillips said he was in Putnam County after being in Auglaize County and was trying to get back to his hometown of Toledo.
Phillips said that night he was at the Columbus Grove Dollar General when he asked people for a ride. When he asked Kiene, she said no.
“I told her to give me a ride, and then I told her to pull over and give me her money, and I took her car and drove off,” Phillips said.
He said he was in the passenger’s seat, and she was in the driver’s seat. She asked to be let out, so he let her out and drove off in her vehicle.
Kiene reported on Facebook in November that she went to Dollar General in Columbus Grove to return a Redbox DVD and grab some things in the store. While returning the movie, she noticed a man standing along the building. She wrote she walked past him to get into the store.
She said he was in all black, so she assumed he was a worker on break. After being in the store for five minutes, she went back to her car. Before she could get into the car, she said, the man approached her. He asked for a ride and after saying no, he pulled a gun on her and told her she had no choice now.
Somewhere between Columbus Grove and Ottawa, he threw her phone out the window. He then put the gun to her head and told her to pull over, get out and not to do anything stupid. She wrote that she pulled over on a side road on Road 9-K and got out of the car.
He handed her purse and told her to give him all the money she had with her. He took the money and told her to stand in the middle of the road until he drove away. She flagged down a passerby on state Route 65 for help.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.