A local woman who stole nearly $100,000 from a Bowling Green business eight years ago has been resentenced.
Amanda Diehl, formerly Amanda Ter Doest, had her original sentence vacated by the 6th District Court of Appeals.
Diehl, 40, last known address in Waterville, was indicted in 2012 for two counts of grand theft, both fourth-degree felonies, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
While employed by Snook’s Dream Cars in Bowling Green, she stole $99,395 between Jan. 1, 2007 and Jan. 27, 2012.
Diehl appeared in Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matthew Reger’s courtroom Sept. 11 for resentencing. She has been in courts in Lucas and Wood counties several times over the last few years and has served time for a Lucas County crime.
“At this point in time, we’re starting again,” Reger said.
Diehl said she wants to continue to repair the relationships with her family and the victim.
“I will pay until the day I die,” said Diehl, who added that she has a gambling addiction. “I’ve hit rock bottom. That’s what prison was for me, rock bottom.”
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said that Lucas County had resentenced Diehl to 17 months while this county’s case was in appeals. She has served that time.
Defense attorney Thomas Kurt said his client is not the same person she was in 2018, when Reger had imposed the original sentence.
“She stumbled and fell hard, twice,” he said. “It took that second fall … and prison time … for her to become aware of herself and what she’s done and what she needs to do.”
Since being released on bond, she has been working a delivery job, making restitution payments and has continued counseling at the Zepf Center.
“For the progress that she’s made … a prison sentence would be wasteful to the State of Ohio,” Kurt said, asking for community control.
“In that time, she can make Mr. Snook whole,” he said, adding that Diehl’s parents are willing to help make those payments.
Steven Kapela, manager of gambling treatment and prevention services at the Zepf Center, said his firm has the most successful gambling treatment program in the state.
“I’ve never met the Amanda Diehl you describe,” he said.
Kapela said he met a very scared woman with serious legal problems on Dec. 14, 2017.
Her Lucas County prison sentence interrupted the work they were doing until her release in June.
His recommendation was community control to allow her to continue her recovery “and clean up the mess and turn all that discovery into something beautiful.”
Wood County Common Pleas Judge Robert Pollex sentenced Diehl in 2013 to five years community control and ordered her to pay restitution in monthly installments of $500. He also reserved a prison time of 18 months for each of the grand theft charges and 12 months for the theft charge that could be served consecutively.
Soon after, she broke the trust of another employer and was continued on community control. She then stole over $70,00 from a third employer, Reger said.
He said that nothing about a gambling addiction came up during her initial community control violations and wasn’t mentioned until her original sentencing in May 2018, when he ordered she serve the time originally reserved.
“Am I dealing with a thief who has a gambling addiction or a person who is addicted to gambling who has resorted to thievery to support that addiction?” Reger asked.
Kapela said people do not see the benefit of saying they have a gambling addiction since it is seen as a free-will crime rather than a compulsion.
“The situation we have today is in procedure, the same situation when you sentenced her to prison originally,” Dobson said. “You have all the options today you had then.”
“I, too, have an unshakable belief in people’s ability to change,” he said, adding that he sits on the advisory committee of the addiction council. “Having the ability to change does not equate to having the incentive to change.”
People in this system say they will change and that does not happen, he said.
“This court gave this defendant multiple opportunities to change. Not only did she not change, in the sense she didn’t improve herself, she didn’t change in the sense that none of this stopped her from continuing to engage in theft schemes.”
Dobson recommended the court impose the previous sentence time to be served consecutively to Lucas County.
Diehl said she knew if she admitted she had a gambling problem, she would be forced to quit, which is why she said nothing.
Reger asked how she was different from the person who appeared in May 2018.
“In May, I thought I was above it all and thought everything would be OK,” Diehl said.
She is now seeing a counselor and “I’m not there anymore. Everything is not OK, but I can get it together and figure out what I am doing.”
Diehl said that she was a danger to society back then but has since got the help she’s needed.
“I’m a stronger person now. I’m stronger against my addiction.”
The purpose of sentencing is to punish the offender and protect the public, Reger said.
“Everyone who comes into the court deserves the penalty that is meted out,” he said. “There has not been a punishment in this case yet.”
He then resentenced her to the 18 months for the first grand theft charge, to be served consecutively to the Lucas County case. The second grand theft charge also received an 18-month sentence, to be served consecutively to the first charge. The charge of theft received a 12-month sentence to be served concurrently with the other two for a total of 36 months.
Reger said that since she has completed her Lucas County sentence, this sentence must be issued as consecutively otherwise she would get credit for the time already served. Diehl also will receive credit for the six months she has served on the original sentence.
She stole more than $150,000 from people who trusted her, Reger said.
“The harm in these cases is so great … that no single prison term for any of these offenses adequately reflects the seriousness of (the crimes),” he said.
Diehl must pay back $72,000 still owed to Snook’s.
Kurt asked for a stay in sentence due to the coronavirus. Reger denied that request.
A timeline of her case is as follows:
She changed her plea to guilty Sept. 24, 2012.
On Jan. 9, 2013 she was sentenced by Pollex to five years community control and 60 days in jail and told to pay $99,395 in restitution. He reserved a prison time of 18 months for each of the grand theft charges and 12 months for the theft charge that could be served consecutively.
In Aug. 1, 2014, Diehl violated community control for not making restitution payments of $500 for the months of April, June and July.
On March 24, 2015, the court ordered her to continue on community control with same conditions and pay $3,500 in restitution within seven days
A new community control violation was filed April 9, 2015 when her whereabouts were unknown. A motion to revoke her bond was made and a warrant was issued for her arrest
On Jan. 12, 2016, a new violation was recorded for the theft from another employer.
At a hearing March 15, 2016, bond was set at her own recognizance and terms were continued.
Diehl was indicted in Lucas County on Oct. 11, 2017 for grand theft and forgery, thus violating community control for the fourth time.
On Oct. 20, 2017, a cash bond was set of $150,000, which she posted.
May 21, 2018, Reger sentenced her to prison: 18 months each for the two grand theft charges and 12 months for the theft charge. The sentences were to be served consecutively.
Diehl was convicted in Lucas County in May 2018 of stealing $72,000 while employed as the former manager of a Maumee apartment complex. She was sentenced to 17 months in prison.
She appealed her Wood County sentence.
The appeals court vacated the consecutive sentences on Sept. 20, 2019, saying such a sentence was improper.
On July 15, 2020, the county appealed that ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court, which returned the case to the lower court, stating that the sentence was not improper.
The appeals court then ruled that the trial court did not do all the necessary analysis before imposing its sentence, Reger said, and that resentencing was needed.