A Mechanicsburg man was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday morning after pleading guilty to the burglary of a Bloomingburg home.
Matthew S. Lindsey, 35, pleaded guilty in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to two counts of burglary, one a felony of the second degree and one a felony of the third degree, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
The court merged the two burglary counts into one and Lindsey was convicted of one count of burglary, a felony of the second degree, and the theft count. Judge Steven Beathard sentenced Lindsey after accepting the guilty plea.
Lindsey was sentenced to five years in the appropriate correctional facility with a mandatory three-year probation period upon release. The court also ordered that Lindsey pay restitution in the amount of $1,600.
This sentence is to be served consecutively to the sentence Lindsey is currently serving on Madison and Pickaway county cases.
On Feb. 18, the victim called the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to report that her daughter had called her cell phone to tell her that when she woke up, she noticed several things missing from the home and the door was open. The victim and her husband had left for work, with their children still sleeping.
The victim told dispatch that her daughter said that a jewelry box, containing $500, was missing, as well as her son’s Playstation 4 and cell phone.
“The victim’s young 11-year-old son was so traumatized,” said Assistant Fayette County Prosecutor John Scott, “that he asked if they could move and eventually the family did move. The defendant is claiming that nobody knew he was in the house and that nothing bad happened, but the two kids who were home asleep while their parents left for work in the morning very soon knew that he had been there. Also, the victim’s jewelry box was one of the items stolen, so as the defendant entered at least one bedroom, it could have very well happened that he would have entered another bedroom and encountered one of the kids. The point of sentencing is to protect the community and punish the offender, and we ask that the court take that into consideration.
“I just want to say on record that I’m sorry,” Lindsey said. “As you can see my drug addiction started five years ago, I’ve been trying to get clean. I’m sorry, I’ve got remorse for it. If I didn’t have an addiction that started five years ago — you can look at my record, you can see that I started to digress. I didn’t start using the drugs again until I got back to my grandmother’s house and my (family member) moved in and started shooting heroin and doing pills every day. I relapsed.”
“I’m assuming,” Beathard said, “that had you known there were kids in this house you wouldn’t have gone in?”
Lindsey responded in the negative.
“I find recidivism more likely based on his extensive record and criminal convictions on his penitentiary sentence, and also considering the Madison and Pickaway counties’ sentences that he is currently serving, so I am incorporating his entire adult criminal history into the sentencing,” Beathard said. “I find that there is no genuine remorse. The psychological harm to the victims is immeasurable. Mr. Lindsey, you have a lengthy history of breaking into places, and the risk that you run is that at some point you’re going to break into a house that someone is home or likely to be home. And you’re going to do that in a county that cares about that instead of a metropolitan area that puts you in a position to leverage a better result. So when you do this in a rural county that fully investigates and prosecutes them fully, that’s simply the cost of doing business.”
Reach Kellee Bonnell at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @newskelleebee.