Burglar avoids jail, ordered to complete Teen Challenge program
Aug 30, 2013 at 5:07 PM
A convicted burglar must complete a Christian-based substance abuse treatment program as part of his probation.
Former Norwalk resident Devon L. Payton, 22, pleaded guilty July 9 to burglary. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of tampering with evidence in connection with putting a marijuana pipe in his pocket, his attorney said earlier.
In July, Payton was released on bond "on the condition that you stay at the Teen Challenge group." Teen Challenge is a 12-month, intense residential services program for people all ages who are struggling with life-controlling addictions.
At Thursday's hearing, Payton was ordered to pay $680 in restitution to his ex-girlfriend. Also as part of his three years of probation, he is prohibited from having any association with her and her family.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo said the no-association order won't be an issue since Payton "figures she and he are quite through" and his client doesn't plan to move back to the area after he completes his time at Teen Challenge.
Payton paused a long time to gather his thoughts before he told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway he wants to get "a fresh start."
"It's not going to be the easiest thing (to do), but it's something I'm looking forward to," the defendant said.
Payton told the judge about the circumstances of the April 18 burglary when he was convicted in July. He said he didn't know "he wasn't welcome in the house" and it's not true he no longer he was living at his girlfriend's apartment, where the locks had been changed.
"I was still living there, but at that time I was staying at a friend's house and I believe we changed the locks together," Payton said.
He also said he wouldn't have been able to come in through the window since the windows were locked. Longo at the time said there were some issues about "what belonged to who" after the break-up and that may explain the suspected theft of an iPad.