GALLIPOLIS — Brandon Stewart, 21, of Cheshire, pleaded guilty Thursday to breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree, and was sentenced to serve nine months in prison.
On June 19, 2015, a resident on Morgan Center Road in Bidwell discovered that his truck had been rummaged through and some items were missing. He then discovered his garage had been forcibly entered during the night and several additional items were missing including an air compressor, fishing items, battery packs and an ATV ignition key.
The resident identified a suspicious vehicle near his residence the same morning as he went to his vehicle. That same vehicle was involved in a theft that occurred at the Bud’s One-Stop gas station located in Cheshire. The surveillance video from the gas station revealed the same vehicle at the Morgan Center Road residence, as well as Stewart and an accomplice.
The investigation into the suspect vehicle ultimately revealed that Stewart and his accomplice sold the stolen property to a relative soon after breaking into the garage on Morgan Center Road. Several items that were stolen were recovered and returned to the victim. Other items were not recovered and some items were damaged.
The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony, on Feb. 8. Stewart was ordered to appear for his sentencing on Feb. 29. However, Stewart failed to appear on that date and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested on that warrant and recently appeared in the Gallia County Common Pleas Court for his sentencing.
“Stewart had no felony convictions and therefore, under most circumstances, would not have been able to be sent to prison for this conviction,” said Gallia Prosecutor Jeff Adkins. “However, based upon the defendant’s failure to appear at his sentencing, we requested that the common pleas court order the defendant to serve 12 months in prison, the maximum permitted under Ohio law. The court sentenced the defendant to serve nine months in prison beginning immediately.”