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Sax sent to slammer

Cary Ashby • Oct 11, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Defendant Jeremy M. Sax frowned when the judge announced Thursday he would spend 10 years in prison for aggravated burglary.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway then said the 35-year-old Norwalk man would serve an additional two years for tampering with evidence.

That's when the man with multiple tattoos on the back of his shaven head and around his neck directed his anger toward the court and county prosecutor.

"I understand you give more time (to me) than a child molester in this (expletive) county," Sax told Conway.

"I hope you sleep good," Sax said, turning to face Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler.

Sax repeated the comments. Conway immediately told the defendant to settle down or he would have him thrown out of court and jailed.

At the same time, Huron County Sheriff's Lt. Chris Stanfield and Deputy Mitch Cawrse approached and surrounded the defendant's chair. Stanfield, who stood at Sax's left shoulder, kept his right hand covering his holstered gun for the rest of the sentencing hearing.

On Oct. 3, after nearly two days of testimony, a jury found Sax guilty of robbery, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence. Jurors deliberated for slightly less than an hour.

The charges are for a violent, March 1 drug-related home invasion which sent the male victim to Fisher-Titus Medical Center to get staples in his head.

Conway said the facts show Sax intended to cause serious physical harm to the victim "as he entered the premises." The judge also said consecutive sentences were necessary to "protect the public from future crimes by the offender" and would reflect the seriousness of the crime.

The victim had requested $700 in restitution. Because the man didn't come to court to testify or for Sax's sentencing and didn't provide authorities with any documentation that substantiated the $700, Conway turned down the request.

Sax and the victim had dated the same 23-year-old New London woman, who went to her ex-boyfriend's Fitchville Township home to retrieve her laptop computer. Charges against her were dismissed later.

Former Norwalk resident Larry Thornsberry, 36, has been convicted of grabbing the victim in a choke-hold from behind while Sax repeatedly hit him with the metal end of an airsoft pistol to get money and heroin from him.

Sax's sister and Thornsberry's girlfriend, Treva M. Campbell, 30, also has pleaded guilty to driving the pair to the victim's home and also away from the crime scene -- at which time Sax threw the "pretend gun" out of the passenger window. A Huron County Sheriff's Office search team found the pistol in a creek under a Jennings Road bridge adjacent to the Fitchville Conservation Club seven days later.

"The defendant did stick a pretend gun in the face of a boy," Leffler told the court Thursday.

The 16-year-old boy testified Sax pointed the gun at him and told him to go back upstairs when he attempted to confront Sax. The boy said he planned to retrieve a baseball bat from a shelf behind Sax in order to help the victim.

Conway ruled Thursday the robbery and aggravated burglary charges are "allied." The state chose to pursue the more serious felony, the aggravated burglary, which was punishable by three to 11 years in prison. Sax faced a maximum of 14.

"I think the court should lock him away as long as they can. We'd like the court to come as close to (14 years) as possible," Leffler said. "(Sax's) record is replete with anger, fighting and carrying on."

Sax's previous charges and convictions include robbery, gross sexual imposition, a post-release control violation, felonious assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest and menacing by stalking.

"Several of these ended in prison sentences," Leffler said.

"It seems like if you have the opportunity to commit another offense, you take it and run with it," the prosecutor said about Sax.

Defense attorney Sarah Nation said very little at Thursday's hearing.

Sax declined to speak on his own behalf.

"No sir," was what Sax told Conway when he was asked if he wanted to say anything -- shortly before his aforementioned outbursts.

Sax can apply for early release after spending six years in prison. Once he's out, he will be on five years of mandatory parole.

Immediately after the hearing, a deputy escorted the defendant out of the courtroom.

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