CLEVELAND -- The man known as one of the worst house flippers in Cuyahoga County will soon trade in the "big house" for one of his former homes in Slavic Village.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle granted early release to Blaine Murphy but under the terms that he serve the remainder of his sentence in a home he was forced to renovate.
The courtroom was stunned when McMonagle handed down this sentence...and so was Blaine Murphy.
He actually asked to go back to prison rather than live in that house.
Instead, Murphy will live in his home on the 3600 block of Barley Road.
It's one of 12 homes and seven lots that Murphy still owns in Cuyahoga County, and one of the last places he ever planned to live for a year and a half.
Murphy was found guilty of using fake names to forge the deeds of 235 properties that he sold to brokers online.
The scam cost the city and county millions in demolition and lost taxes.
So McMonagle took an unusual stand --- not only sentencing Murphy to live in the Slavic Village home – but to be supervised by Cleveland City Councilman Tony Brancatelli, the councilman in that ward.
"That man hates my client, he has said so. He says that my client is the scourge of the earth, that he has ruined the city of Cleveland. He has made it his life mission to see my client go to prison," said Larry Zukerman.
And prison is where Murphy asked to stay.
"There is just no way I can live up to those obligations. We are talking about 10 years verse 15 months. I'm doing some good in there," said Murphy.
In addition to living there, Murphy must turn the empty lots into gardens and serve 3,000 hours of community service.
"Here's an opportunity for him to come out and provide some good hours of community service within our neighborhood and really see some positive actions come out of such a horrible condition," said Brancatelli.
For many homeowners and neighbors, it's too late. Many lost their homes while others lost property values.
If Murphy does not complete all the terms of his early release, he will face an additional 10 years in prison.