Acknowledging Rowe had already been incarcerated for two years, Hein pointed out this was in line with the prosecution request for 15 years. On Dec. 19 Rowe was sentenced to seven years on federal charges evolving from the same criminal act. The federal sentence will be served concurrently with the Darke County sentence.
Darke County Prosecutor Kelly Ormsby told the court this was a serious home invasion.
“The only reason we aren’t requesting more time is because he is cooperating with the state,” he said.
Ormsby noted the act, which occurred Nov. 12, 2009, was committed against two elderly individuals. The husband broke his hip during the crime. Over the next year his health went downhill and he died.
“We can’t charge him with homicide, but the invasion probably led to his death. His wife passed away about a year later, although her death was not related,” he added.
Rowe’s defense attorney, Michael Riemen said Rowe is 27. He was 23 when he did this, and he’s been incarcerated since he was 25.
“Cory isn’t asking for no punishment. He pled to the gun specification knowing prison was required. We’re here because he confessed. He wants to change. He’s asking to be given a chance,” Riemen said. He added the offense goes back to his struggle with drug abuse. “He’s had a length of time to get sober due to his incarceration.”
Riemen asked the court to keep the sentence to three years (for the gun specification) after serving federal time.
Several family members were there. Two spoke on behalf of the victims, telling Rowe how his act had impacted their family. Rowe looked at them for a period of time, then turned away.
Hein told the family different factors were involved but in the law there’s no link to the circumstances of the death. Addressing Rowe, Hein said recidivism is likely, adding substance abuse doesn’t solve itself.
“My consideration is protecting the public and punishing the offender,” he said.
After court adjourned the victim’s daughter indicated she was satisfied with the verdict. Was justice done?
“Yes,” she said. “It’s what I wanted… rather, it’s what my mother wanted.”