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Burglar gets two years in prison for 'crime spree'

Cary Ashby • Mar 18, 2013 at 10:18 AM

A man convicted of a "crime spree" in Huron and Richland counties was sentenced to two years in prison for the local burglaries and break-ins.

Former Shelby resident William R. Barnett Jr., 21, is serving a four-year prison term for one count of burglary through Richland County Common Pleas Court. He was admitted to the Lorain Correctional Institution on Feb. 26.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway added two years to the man's four-year sentence Wednesday.

The judge sentenced Barnett to two years in prison for one count each of burglary and 11 months for breaking and entering. Conway ordered the defendant to serve the sentence at the same time, but after his Richland County term -- punishment for what a prosecutor said is "similar behavior."

Barnett's local convictions were for two burglaries on Aug. 23 and an Aug. 17 break-in.

"Mr. Barnett is one of the three defendants in what we'd call a crime spree," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff told the judge.

Barnett pleaded guilty to breaking into two attached garages in Plymouth and stealing an extension cord and other items Aug. 23. He also was convicted of stealing some copper wire from an unattached New London garage about one week earlier.

Barnett's attorney, Reese Wineman, agreed the defendants committed a crime spree since the incidents happened over a short amount of time. Wineman said his client has been diagnosed with being paranoid schizophrenia and while he considers it a "mitigating factor," the attorney said the diagnosis didn't make a guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea possible.

"He has three young children," said Wineman, who also mentioned Barnett has received a lot of "strong family support," especially from his father.

Barnett, who could be on as much as three years of parole, declined to speak on his own behalf. He and his accomplices must pay $2,110 in restitution.

On Jan. 23 -- one day before Barnett pleaded guilty -- one his co-defendants, Kyle S. Weiner, 23, of Willard, was sentenced to two years in prison. He earlier pleaded guilty to two burglary charges and one count of theft of a credit card.

Weiner is serving a total of four years for the three local charges plus a Richland County burglary conviction at the Belmont Correctional Institution.

The third co-defendant, Greenwich resident Alexander M. Hopkins, 22, was sentenced to five years of probation Jan. 10 for being the men's look-out. His convictions for one count of burglary and two charges of breaking and entering were for two Aug. 10 incidents in New London.

The crimes happened in New London, Plymouth, Greenwich and Celeryville.

Authorities have said the three men stole GPS units, cash, cameras, watches, compact discs, DVDs, iPods, MP3 players, extension cords and tools from attached and unattached garages. Huron County sheriff's deputies recovered most, but not all, of the items.

There were 16 victims. Police in New London, Greenwich and Plymouth assisted detectives with the investigation.

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