December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Court rejects request for new trial for woman who shot boyfriend

Tina D'Agostino waits for the verdict in her trial in Judge Christopher Rothgery court on Oct. 9, 2013. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Tina D’Agostino waits for the verdict in her trial in Judge Christopher Rothgery court on Oct. 9, 2013. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — An appeals court has rejected giving Tina D’Agostino a new trial for shooting her boyfriend in 2010, although the judges of the 9th District Court of Appeals did agree that there was a flaw in how her eight-year prison sentence was structured.

That issue can be corrected with a new sentencing hearing, the court ruled.

D’Agostino’s appeals attorney, Mike Duff, had argued that trial attorney Jenifer Berki had failed to mount an adequate defense for D’Agostino, in part because Berki had given birth months before the the trial.

The appeals court wrote that Berki was involved in the case and that the only mention of her medical condition during the trial came when she explained to jurors that medication she was taking made her hands shake.

“There is no evidence that D’Agostino’s appointed counsel was suffering from a medical condition that affected her ability to represent D’Agostino,” the court wrote.

The appeals court also rejected arguments that Berki should have handled the case differently when it came to the argument that her client was a victim of battered-spouse syndrome.

D’Agostino shot Steven Augustus in February 2010 after locking herself in a bedroom while Augustus was in the shower. When he tried to get inside, she refused to open the door, prompting him to get tools to force the door open.

Once Augustus was inside, D’Agostino shot him before fleeing.