Three defendants appearing on felony charges in the Hillsboro Municipal Court on Thursday entered agreements and pled guilty to misdemeanor charges.
Roger McCarty, 19, Hillsboro, appeared on charges of fifth-degree felony breaking and entering and first-degree misdemeanor theft.
He entered an agreement, pleading guilty to amended and reduced charges of first-degree misdemeanor aggravated trespassing and second-degree misdemeanor attempted theft.
An affidavit filed with the court stated that McCarty was charged after the Highland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a barn break-in last month.
The responding deputy reportedly spoke with the caretaker of the property, who was appointed “after the property owner was admitted into a nursing home,” the affidavit stated.
He reportedly told the deputy that he located a male – later identified as McCarty – when he saw a red vehicle parked next to the barn. He “stopped (McCarty) at gun point and called HCSO,” as stated in the affidavit.
The affidavit added that, after first saying he had “just pull(ed) over and stopped in that driveway,” McCarty later allegedly told the deputy that he had “forced his way into the barn” and began gathering items.
On Thursday, McCarty told the court, “It will never happen again.”
“Why did it happen the first time?” asked Hillsboro Municipal Court Judge David H. McKenna.
“I needed the money,” McCarty said.
When asked, McCarty said he had spent a night in jail.
“Was it as much fun as you thought it would be?” the judge asked.
“No, your honor, not at all,” McCarty said.
“Really?” McKenna said. “I would have thought stealing from people in nursing homes would be so easy you could laugh all the way to the jail.”
On the aggravated trespassing case, 179 days of a 180-day jail sentence were suspended. McCarty was given credit for one day in jail.
He must pay $100 of a $1,000 fine. McCarty was placed on reporting probation. He must also take a theft class and perform 100 hours of community service.
A 90-day jail sentence was suspended on McCarty’s attempted theft case.
An agreement was also reached for Donnie Evans Jr., 25, Dayton. The Times-Gazette previously reported that he was charged with fourth-degree felony burglary after he allegedly entered a Leesburg residence he had been told to stay away from.
On Thursday, Evans pled guilty to an amended and reduced charge of aggravated trespassing. The state recommended a suspended sentence and requested that Evans obtain a mental health evaluation.
One-hundred and sixty-seven days of a 180-day jail sentence were suspended. Evans received credit for 13 days in jail. A $1,000 fine was suspended. He must complete the mental health evaluation and comply with any recommended counseling.
Also pleading to an amended and reduced charge was Devin Schott, 19, Hillsboro.
Schott originally faced fifth-degree felony receiving stolen property after he allegedly sold a guitar that belonged to a relative to a local pawn shop. An affidavit added that the guitar was reportedly valued between $3,000 and $6,000.
As per Thursday’s agreement, Schott pled guilty to first-degree misdemeanor unauthorized use of property. Sentencing was deferred until April. If Schott pays off the pawn shop, and if there are no additional problems, his case will be dismissed.
Finally, Jeremy Crider, 20, Hillsboro, appeared on a bench warrant.
In reviewing his record, McKenna said that Crider was previously convicted of unclassified misdemeanor driving on a suspension and fourth-degree misdemeanor speeding. In all, Crider was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and to pay a $250 fine. A 30-day jail sentence was suspended.
The judge said a warrant was issued for Crider’s arrest when he failed to appear for a review hearing on Monday.
As of Thursday, Crider had not completed his community service or paid his fines and court costs.
Crider said he had just returned from college and that he was now “sacrificing” school to meet those conditions.
“You’re going to quit school over 50 hours of community service?” the judge asked. “Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?”
When asked, Crider said he has a 2.2 GPA. “I don’t doubt that I would flunk out,” he said, then added that he was “taking school serious.”
“I hope you take it more serious than you took a suspended jail sentence,” the judge said.
When asked, Crider said he would pass a drug screen.
“Good,” McKenna said. “That’s the only thing going to keep you from going to college, except for you.”
Crider was found guilty of a probation violation. A 10-day jail sentence is set for January. Until then, the judge said, Crider can have Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks to “do what (he) should have done already.”
If Crider is compliant with his previous conditions, the 10-day jail sentence will likely not be imposed.
“You make your choices, and you live with them,” the judge said.
Reach Sarah Allen at 937-393-3456, ext. 1680, or on Twitter @SarahAllenHTG.