Greenfield man gets 6 years for burglary


Witnesses: Defendant left wallet, phone at scene of crime

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



Aaron Smith, right, sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday with attorney J.D. Wagoner, left.

Aaron Smith, right, sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday with attorney J.D. Wagoner, left.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

A Greenfield man was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday after a Highland County jury found him guilty of burglary and theft.

Witnesses testified that Aaron Smith, 33, stole an Xbox and PlayStation from a family member’s home in December, and when the owner gave chase, Smith left his wallet and phone behind.

Police were able to track Smith down using the information from his ID, and when they confronted him at his home, he fled for the basement, according to Sgt. Shawn Shanks of the Greenfield Police Department. Smith was later arrested.

The jury returned its verdict after about an hour and a half. During deliberation, jurors asked a number of questions and reviewed an audio recording of the victim’s testimony.

During testimony Tuesday morning, a person who saw Smith at his home before and after the burglary said he was wearing a camouflage jacket when he left his house, and when he returned later, breathless and sweating, he had the jacket wadded up beneath his arm.

The victim said the person who robbed his house was wearing the same jacket.

The defense offered no witnesses.

Attorney J.D. Wagoner, representing Smith, argued in closing statements that while Smith’s wallet and phone were found near the scene of the incident, the state could not prove that Smith was the one who dropped them.

Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins argued that Smith never reported the wallet or phone being stolen, so it must have been he who dropped it.

Collins said there were “just too many coincidences” for the defense’s story to line up.

During a sentencing hearing after the trial, the victim’s wife, who is Smith’s cousin, asked Judge Rocky Coss to send Smith to a drug treatment program, adding that she didn’t want him to go to prison.

Collins requested Smith be sentenced to six years in prison, plus a required one-year sentence for committing a felony while under post-release control from prison.

Wagoner asked Coss to order a lenient sentence with the possibility of drug treatment, arguing that his client stole the gaming systems to fuel his drug habit.

Coss said Smith’s addiction did not excuse the crime, and that this was Smith’s third alleged home invasion in the last few years.

The judge ordered Smith serve five years, plus the one-year post-release control sentence, for a total of six years. For the theft charge, Coss sentenced Smith to 60 days in the county jail, but granted him 58 days of credit for jail time already served.

Two other burglary cases filed against Smith were dismissed Tuesday.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Aaron Smith, right, sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday with attorney J.D. Wagoner, left.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/07/web1_faaron-smith-court.jpgAaron Smith, right, sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday with attorney J.D. Wagoner, left. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Witnesses: Defendant left wallet, phone at scene of crime

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com