Athey sentenced to 22 months in prison

By Dean Wright -

Todd Athey

Todd Athey

GALLIPOLIS — A Cheshire man pleaded guilty this week in Gallia Common Pleas Court to a breaking and entering charge, as well as a theft.

Gallia County sheriff’s deputies answered an alarm activation call at G&G Grocery on State Route 7 in Cheshire in September of last year. Surveillance footage revealed a man entering the store by means of breaking the glass on the front door. The suspect entered the building with bandana-covered faces. Video evidence details the suspect stealing a large quantity of cigarettes.

“Hours prior to the breaking and entering, a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol pulled over the defendant on George’s Creek Road for a traffic violation,” said Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “The defendant was wearing the same clothing as the male in the surveillance video and had a bandana tied around his neck during the traffic stop.”

Adkins thanked employees and owners of the store for their cooperation in a quick investigation resulting in an 11-month sentence for Athey.

Athey also pleaded guilty to stealing a debit card. In September of last year, Athey moved to help an elderly woman exiting the Gallipolis Walmart to place groceries into her car. As Athey unloaded groceries, the woman placed her purse in the vehicle and moved back to her grocery cart. Video evidence shows Athey grabbing the purse before fleeing. The woman turned to see her purse missing.

“Under Ohio law in most instances, these crimes would only carry probation,” Adkins said. “However, since the defendant had a prior felony conviction from 2011 for possession of drugs, we were able to pursue prison time. The maximum term of incarceration for fifth-degree felonies is 12 months. Through plea negotiations with defense counsel, we agreed to 11 months for each crime to be served consecutive to one another for a total prison term of 22 months.”

Adkins said these crimes are driven by drugs. The majority of thefts, burglaries and breaking -and-entering crimes in Gallia County that he handles are related to narcotic addictions.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.

Todd Athey Athey

By Dean Wright