GALLIPOLIS — A four-year prison sentence was handed down last week against a Gallia County man charged with burglarizing a neighbor’s residence on two separate occasions in 2011.
Jonathan L. McWhorter, 27, 2350 Hazel Ridge Road, Crown City, was sentenced last week in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County after pleading guilty to a second degree felony burglary, as well as a third degree burglary charge.
McWhorter was arrested in late October 2011 by deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office in connection with two burglaries, one occurring on October 6 and one on October 11, 2011, at the same residence located on Hazel Ridge Road.
Reported stolen from the residence were firearms and miscellaneous jewelry.
Following an investigation, McWhorter was identified as a suspect and was indicted on October 28, 2011.
He was arraigned on November 1, 2011, pleading not guilty to two counts of burglary and was later released on an own recognizance bond.
According to the indictment in this case, the first charge of burglary is a felony of the second degree, as, at the time of the incident, a person, other than any accomplice of the offender, was present or likely to be present at the home. The second charge of burglary — for the October 11 incident — is listed as a felony of the third degree.
A guilty plea form was filed in this case, along with a victim’s statement, in January 2012 indicating that the defendant had agreed to plea guilty to both counts of the indictment, the first count of the indictment being lowered to a third-degree felony burglary charge. The documents further indicate that the state would recommend that McWhorter be sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to successfully completing the SEPTA program.
In addition, this first negotiated plea indicates that the defendant had agreed to pay $3,400 in restitution to the victim prior to sentencing in this case.
The court was informed that this case was resolved and a plea hearing set forth for February 27, 2012, was later continued to March 26, 2012.
On March 26, a “nolle prosequi” dismissing this case was filed with the clerk of courts.
The entry, signed by Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins and Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans, indicates that both parties “need additional time to further negotiate this matter.”
A second indictment was filed against McWhorter on August 15, 2012, and also outlines — as with his first indictment — two burglary charges stemming from October 6 and October 11, 2011.
The defendant was arrested on August 22, 2012, and was arraigned in this case.
He entered a not guilty plea and was later released on a $45,000, own recognizance bond.
In January of this year, the court was informed that this matter was resolved and a hearing was later continued to February 13.
During last week’s hearing, McWhorter pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment, a second degree burglary charge and a third degree felony burglary charge.
He was sentenced to serve four years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as to count one and 12 months as to count two, sentences ordered to be serve concurrently for a total of four years.
The defendant was further advised that three years of post release control would be mandatory in this case and he was ordered to have no contact with the person or property of the victim.
McWhorter was given credit for 11 days jail time served.