Jessica Kisseberth - Putnam Sentinel
Jessica Kisseberth reads her statement to the court during sentencing last Wednesday. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)

FINDLAY — A Leipsic woman who entered guilty pleas to charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery on May 2 was sentenced in Hancock County Common Pleas court last Wednesday, May 9.

The prosecution’s case against Jessica Kisseberth, 27, asserted she and two accomplices, Alexander and Joseph V. Fleming, 28, Toledo, conspired to rob Husam H. Coleman, 38, Chicago, at the Findlay Econo Lodge Motel on Feb. 17, 2017. During the attempt, Coleman shot and killed Alexander.

As part of a deal with the State, Kisseberth, entered her guilty plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter. The deal, negotiated between the prosecution and the defense, included a join recommendation from the prosecution and the defense that Kisseberth serve an 11-year prison sentence, the maximum allowable for either offense. The prosecution acknowledged that, under Ohio law, the two crimes were merged and that a single sentence for both crimes was legally proper.

In an emotional statement to the court, Kisseberth mourned the loss of Alexander, whom she described as her “best friend.”

Fighting back tears, Kisseberth said Alexander wanted her to get her life together and asserted his loss, along with the birth of her third child will incarcerated at the Hancock County Jail, had “broken” her. She said these events were “life-changing” and that she was through with her “so-called friends.”

While the matter of the sentence initially appeared cut-and-dried, Routson expressed a concern regarding his discretion in permitting future judicial release, a concern that led to a series of conversations in chambers. Ultimately, the prosecution recommended the court sentence Kisseberth on the aggravated robbery charge, thereby creating the opportunity for parole after 66 months of incarceration, an option unavailable on the involuntary manslaughter charge.

Ironically, the prosecution then expressed its opinion that Kisseberth should serve the entire 11 years, suggesting it would object to any future judicial release.

With all parties having closed their addresses, Judge Routson sentenced Kisseberth to the recommended 11 years, ordering further that she pay $600, her share of Alexander’s funeral expenses split between herself, Fleming and Coleman.

Coleman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree, last year and was sentenced to five years in prison. On April 11, Fleming pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and is scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, June 6.