Eva Christian’s prison sentence was upheld Wednesday morning.
Christian, the imprisoned former restaurant owner, was seeking a shorter prison sentence after a higher court reduced the severity of two of her five insurance fraud-related convictions.
Christian was transported from the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, where she has served more than four years of her nine-year prison sentence, to the Montgomery County Common Pleas courtroom of Judge Barbara P. Gorman Wednesday morning for re-sentencing, according to court documents.
Clutching a folded-up tissue, Christian told the judge she was sorry for the pain she caused family, friends and the employees of her restaurants, whom she said she also considered family. She said she didn’t realize four years ago, how much impact her actions would have on those close to her.
“It has consumed me and is haunting me every day,” Christian said. She said she had a “secure and safe” place to stay if she were to be released. “Please give me a chance to be a law-abiding citizen.”
Gorman was not persuaded. The judge noted that Christian tearfully pleaded for leniency four years ago in the very same courtroom, only then, she refused to admit her guilt.
“I don’t know if you’ve really made a change, or if you’re a really good actress.”
Christian, the former owner of Cafe Boulevard/Boulevard Haus in Dayton’s Oregon District and Cena Brazilian Steakhouse in Miami Twp., was convicted of hiring others to set Cena on fire and to stage a break-in at her Washington Twp. residence to collect insurance money.
The re-sentencing comes after a lengthy appeals process that fell short of having her convictions overturned, but did succeed in getting her most serious felony conviction reduced from a first-degree to a second-degree felony. Another one of her lesser felony counts was reduced to a first-degree misdemeanor. The reductions were the result of a law passed by the Ohio General Assembly that raised the dollar-amount threshhold for felony charges related to insurance-fraud. Legislators decided to apply the new dollar amounts retroactively, which affected Christian’s case.
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