A Columbus man was sentenced to three years in prison this week after he pled guilty in Highland County Common Pleas Court to burglary and theft from a person in a protected class.
Judge Rocky Coss on Wednesday ordered James Harold Chaffin, 47, complete 36 months in prison and pay $16,000 in restitution to the victim, who was 96 years old at the time of the initial incident, according to court documents.
According to a bill of particulars filed in the case, Chaffin broke into the victim’s apartment last December while she was in a nursing home and took a television and a safe containing $16,000 in cash.
A law enforcement affidavit says Chaffin kicked in the door and took the items back to a family member’s house, where he broke into the safe and extracted the money.
The bill of particulars says Chaffin used the money to buy drugs, clothing, a truck and a stump grinder.
Chaffin was arrested on an unrelated warrant, according to the affidavit, and admitted to breaking into the house and taking the items.
On Wednesday, attorney Lee Koogler, representing Chaffin, told the judge that his client was using drugs at the time of the incident and was “rather strung out,” but he added that Chaffin has sought help for his addiction and has not used drugs for some time.
Coss said Chaffin’s case was “a very serious matter” that created a “sad circumstance for (the victim),” adding that the money in the safe was likely saved so she could pay for medical care and other expenses.
The following people were also sentenced to prison on Wednesday:
Christina Richardson, 40, Hillsboro, 24 months, aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a third-degree felony.
John P. Montine, 42, Hillsboro, 18 months, having weapons under disability, a third degree felony.
Michelle Woolridge, 40, Leesburg, 18 months consecutive to current prison sentence, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony.
Brandon Michael Leonard, 31, Wilmington, 18 months, having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony.
In other hearings, three people were sentenced to three years of community control sanctions and ordered to complete recommended treatment programs:
Johnathan Matthew Knauff, 43, Bainbridge, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony, and aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a fifth-degree felony.
Shannon Lynn Carlisle, 41, Mt. Orab, endangering children, a fourth-degree felony.
Ryan E. West, 27, Hillsboro, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.