• 45°

Daytime burglar pleads, gets

An Ironton man who broke into several houses in the Pedro and Kitts Hill areas last summer pre-empted a trial that was to start next week by pleading guilty in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

William Sexton, of 204 1/2 Mastin Ave., pleaded guilty Friday to nine counts of burglary. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced him to 11 years in prison.

Sexton was to have stood trial next week for those crimes and, if he had been convicted, he faced as much as 16 years in prison.

Sexton was one of four people arrested in August in the wake of a string of daytime burglaries in Pedro and Kitts Hill.

Authorities said the four would target certain homes and knock on doors to see if anyone was in the house. If not, they would break in; if an occupant answered the door they would pretend to be looking for someone.

The other three people, Shon Williams, Sara Branham, and Ranae Schwab have already pleaded guilty for their part in the crimes; all received prison sentences.

Sexton had been out of prison less than a month when he became involved in the summer burglaries.

On Wednesday, Donald J. Porter, 31, of 30 Township Road 1079, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of burglary. Cooper sentenced him to nine months in prison.

“Mr. Porter is looking forward to paying his debt to society, coming out and being a productive member of society once again,” Porter’s attorney, Mike Gleichauf, told Cooper.

Also Wednesday, Douglas E. Louk, 41, of Washington, Penn., pleaded guilty on a bill of information to one count of theft.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced him to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation (CCS/ISP) and ordered him to complete 30 days of community service and pay $3,000 in restitution to his victim.

By pleading guilty to a bill of information, both Louk and Porter admit their crimes, avoid having their cases heard by a grand jury and a common pleas jury and are sentenced.