Woman found guilty of arson and fraud PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 09:33
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File photo. Assistant Wood County Prosecutor Aram Ohanian, far left, gives opening remarks as defendant Patricia Groves, far right, and her attorney, Ann Baronas look on. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
After roughly two and a half hours of deliberation, a jury found Patricia "Patty" Groves guilty of aggravated arson and insurance fraud on Wednesday afternoon.
Groves, 58, of Perrysburg, was charged with the Dec. 20, 2011 fire at her Downey Daisy Home Services business on North Dixie Highway in Rossford.
The aggravated arson charge is a first-degree felony which carries up to 10 years in prison. The insurance fraud is a fourth-degree offense.
Following the reading of the verdict, some of the jurors said the biggest factor for them is that there was no one else who could have started the fire.
During the trial, testimony revealed that Groves, after learning of a smaller fire over the previous weekend, was watching her business from the parking lot from 4:30 a.m. that Tuesday until she reported the fire after 6 a.m.
"There was no one else," one juror stated. "The evidence led to our verdict."
The foreperson, who asked only to be identified as Juror 14, added, "If she was there from 4:30 until the fire was started, she would have seen who was there."
Yet another juror added, "She would have had to have seen someone come in or out, there was no one else."
Groves did not take the stand in her own defense.
Another of the key pieces of evidence for the jurors was the gasoline found on the clothes she was wearing when she reported the fire. Testimony revealed after reporting the fire she went home and changed her clothes, returning to the business hours later. A search of her residence found the boots and clothes which contained gasoline.
The prosecution sought and was granted by Judge Alan Mayberry, a modification of her bond. Her bond was set at $50,000, with no 10 percent applicable.
In granting the prosecution request, the judge said, "There is significant change of circumstances since she is now convicted."
Throughout the closing arguments and the reading of the verdict, Groves sat quietly and showed little or no emotion. Sitting at the defense table, she periodically would sip on the straw from a beverage from a local fast food establishment, and take a bite of her food from the same establishment.
After the judge granted the change of bond, Groves realized she would be taken into custody and became distraught.
Court constables escorted her from the courtroom and placed her in handcuffs prior to a deputy sheriff arriving to take her to the county jail.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered with sentencing set for 10 a.m. Aug. 23.
Following the verdict, Groves' attorney Ann Baronas said, "We are obviously disappointed with the verdict as my client has maintained her innocence all along."
After the verdict was read, Baronas asked for the jury to be polled, with each of the 12 jurors answering, "yes" when asked if that was their verdict.
The defense attorney added, "However, at this point we have to respect the jury's decision. My client will be planning an appeal."
Aram Ohanian, an assistant Wood County prosecuting attorney, who prosecuted the case, said, "These are tough cases, it is not easy for anyone. I am just glad no one was hurt in the fire. The firefighters did a great job."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 June 2013 17:45
 

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