One criminal and one civil case were presented to the Fourth District Court Appeals Thursday meeting at Washington County Common Pleas Court.
The appellate court consisted of Presiding Judge Peter Abele, of Athens, and judges Roger Kline, of Circleville, and Matthew McFarland, of Portsmouth.
The judges first heard an oral argument from attorney Eric Allen who contested the sentencing of his client, Troy A. Doyle, 48, of Chillicothe.
"I think the issue in this case, is whether or not prison is an appropriate sentence," Allen said during his oral argument.
In November 2011, Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Susan Boyer sentenced Doyle to 11 months in prison for fifth-degree felony theft, according to the Washington County Prosecutor's Office.
The decision to sentence Doyle "just below the maximum sentence" was based more on the fact that he failed to appear for his jury trial, rather than the crime for which he was being sentenced, argued Allen.
Doyle was indicted in April 2011 on a fifth-degree felony count of breaking and entering and a fifth-degree felony count of theft. He was accused of breaking into several vehicles and taking electronic equipment, such as CB radios, said Allen.
Doyle was indicted again in July 2011 for failing to appear for the June 12 trial for the previous charges.
The failure to appear charges were dropped as part of Doyle's plea agreement, said Allen.
"What do you think should happen when somebody fails to appear for a jury trial, and they are charged then with failure to appear, and that is dismissed as part of the plea agreement? You are saying you cannot consider that at all?" asked Kline.
Allen argued the failure-to-appear incident should not be a primary consideration, especially when dismissed.
The second case on the appellate agenda was an appeal of Mar Jul LLC v. Bernard W. Hurst, a civil case involving the sale of commercial real estate.
Attorney John Triplett, representing Mar Jul LLC, the purchaser, argued that the seller fraudulently misrepresented both the structural integrity and the potential income from tenants at the property.
"There were side agreements. The rent said one thing and they had side agreements," said Triplett.
Representing Hurst, Attorney Ethan Vessels, read several depositions in which the purchaser admitted he was given the opportunity to inspect the properties but neglected to do so. The purchaser also neglected to ask for copies of the tenants' leases, said Vessels.
The appellate judges will review the cases and provide written decisions in approximately two weeks.