A Middletown man was sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday in Highland County Common Pleas Court after he pled guilty to burglary in September.
Christian Phelps, 19, wept in court and several others who attended his hearing grew emotional when Judge Rocky Coss handed down his sentence.
Phelps’ lawyer, James M. Calhoun II, asked the judge to sentence his client to a term of probation for the charge. Calhoun said in the time he had represented Phelps, he had “seen him mature as a man.” Calhoun vouched for his client being a “successful candidate” for community control.
When Phelps was allowed to address the court, he apologized to the court and his victim, saying he was “extremely sorry for what I did.”
According to a bill of particulars filed in the case, prosecutors said Phelps entered the home of the victim on Prospect Road in February of this year with a gun on his hip. The bill said the victim was an acquaintance of Phelps, and Phelps had lived with him for some time but had since moved out.
The victim asked Phelps to leave the home because he needed to go to the store, according to the bill.
As the victim was getting ready to leave, he heard gunshots outside and saw Phelps and other men get into a white truck and leave, the bill said.
When the victim returned home, he saw Phelps had apparently returned, and he watched as Phelps ran out of the house and left in the white truck, according to the bill. When the victim entered the home he found $2,500 in cash was gone, as well as an Xbox and four watches, the bill said.
According to the bill, the victim tried to follow Phelps, but could not catch up with him.
Phelps was indicted in June on one count of burglary, a second-degree felony, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony. The theft charge was dropped and the burglary charge was amended to a third-degree felony as part of a plea agreement, according to court documents. The prosecution recommended 30 months in prison.
On Thursday, Coss said Phelps having a gun during the burglary was “concerning,” and that the burglary itself was “a very serious crime.”
Coss said he would consider a motion for early release after one year of incarceration.
Phelps was also ordered to pay $2,939 in restitution to the victim.
In other hearings Thursday, Ryan Pollock, 37, Frankfort, was sentenced to a year and a half in prison after pleading guilty in September to illegal conveyance of weapons or prohibited items on the grounds of a detention facility or institution, a third-degree felony.
Amanda Hester, 33, Bainbridge, was sentenced to nine months in prison after pleading guilty in August to breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.