Convicted burglar plans to go into ministry

Cary Ashby • Apr 14, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Convicted burglar Devon L. Payton plans to go into the ministry.

But first, the 22-year-old former Norwalk resident must complete a six-month sentence in the Huron County Jail for a probation violation. Credited with already being behind bars for nearly four months, he will be upgraded to intensive probation.

Payton's community control sanctions include paying $680 in restitution to his ex-girlfriend. He also isn't allowed to have any association with her and her family.

"He wants to finish his jail time and study for the ministry," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said at Monday's hearing.

Longo also said Payton is "a very different person" than the one he met last year.

In late August, the defendant was placed on three years of probation for a burglary that happened April 18, 2013. Payton said earlier he didn't know "he wasn't welcome in the house" and he was still living there. The defendant also had told the court he wouldn't have been able to enter the victim's residence through the window since the windows were locked.

Payton admitted Monday he was kicked out Teen Challenge on March 12 after having several minor write-ups. Teen Challenge is a 12-month, Christian-based, intense residential program for people all ages who are struggling with life-controlling addictions.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway asked the defendant why he didn't want to return to Teen Challenge even though officials were willing to take him back. Payton, who thanked the judge for the opportunity, said he received enough knowledge from the program to improve his life.

"I have no desire to continue getting into trouble," he added.

Conway, in response, wished Payton the best of luck in his desire to go into the ministry.

"Hopefully, the lessons you learned in Teen Challenge will stick with you," the judge added.

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