Defense attorney: Facts of the case are 'almost comical'

Cary Ashby • Aug 28, 2013 at 5:07 PM

An area man pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping steal a vehicle from a Norwalk automobile dealership.

As part of a plea deal, Clyde resident Brett M. Smith, 23, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of theft. The fifth-degree felony is for a May 3 incident. He originally was indicted on theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway the facts of the case are "almost comical."

Smith gave his accomplice, Shane E. Danielson, 24, of rural Monroeville, a ride to the dealership on his brother's all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with a can of gasoline and after they dumped the gas into the ATV, Danielson drove away on the four-wheeler, Longo said. He said Smith was using the ATV without his brother's permission.

At Longo's request, Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff agreed to release the ATV to Smith.

Both defendants earlier posted a $5,000 bond.

When Smith is sentenced Oct. 9, he faces six to 12 months behind bars. The defendant doesn't have a prior felony conviction, so he isn't eligible for a prison term.

Danielson, who has said he has an unspecified felony conviction through Sandusky County, has a trial date of Sept. 24. He is charged with theft of a motor vehicle.

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