A teenage defendant pleaded guilty Monday before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor to his second local felony offense since becoming an adult.
Dylan Kossel, 19, at large, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft of a motor vehicle, fourth-degree felonies, for a string of May 17 car thefts from in and around Indian Lake and DeGraff.
The plea also amounts to a de facto admission of a probation violation from a prior felony conviction for vandalism, the court noted.
Logan County prosecutors report the defendant stole a trio of cars in succession. He’d steal a car, take it joy riding, rummage through its contents and then abandon it, according to court documents.
One vehicle the defendant stole from DeGraff was later recovered in Russells Point. Some of its contents were missing, and other items in the stolen car, such as a pair of sunglasses, were from other stolen vehicles, prosecutors said.
One of the cars in question was eventually found in a park, covered in mud. The defendant reportedly had driven it through the park and had damaged a ballpark fence.
Missing from that car was a firearm that had been stored in the vehicle’s trunk. The defendant maintains the gun was returned to its owner, but remains on the hook for restitution if prosecutors show the gun hasn’t been returned to its owner.
The defendant was sentenced in October 2012 to the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility, but was terminated unsuccessfully from that program a short time later. He had been subject to community control sanctions during the time of these offenses.
He is currently lodged in Logan County Jail, while also serving a sentence out of Shelby County.
He will be sentenced Jan. 6 for the three car thefts and for violating his probation.
Burglar sentenced to prison
Anthony Hawkins, 31, of Richwood, was sentenced to three years in prison, three years of post-release control and was ordered to pay court costs and restitution for burglary, a second-degree felony.
He pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to the crime in which the defendant entered a residence at 5794 County Road 10, Zanesfield, and took several items from the home.
The defendant escaped initially, but a resident, who was outside when the defendant broke in, re-entered the home and spooked the defendant, causing him to flee.
Not before, however, residents got a description of his car and a license plate number, which deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office tracked to a Plain City-area apartment complex.
The defendant was eventually found hiding out in the woods. In his possession were multiple items that had been stolen from the home, including a dated photo of the resident in his Army uniform.
Prosecutors report several items of sentimental value to the homeowners were lost in the burglary. The defendant was ordered to pay restitution totaling $2,240.
Mr. Hawkins said Monday the burglary was fueled by a healthy drug addiction, but that he’s been sober throughout the disposition of this case, and intends to stay sober long-term with the help of in-patient counseling.
“I know prison won’t help me,” he said. “I want to get my life back on track so I can take care of my three children.”
The court noted the defendant has already successfully completed the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility, only to later be terminated unsuccessfully from community control.
“The court recognizes your pattern of drug abuse and concurs that you need professional help overcoming it,” Judge O’Connor said, going on to say that he would consider judicial release for the purpose of admission to West Central at a later date.
The defendant was granted a furlough until next Monday so that he may collect one last paycheck from his employer.