Burglar, firearm thief says he's 'tired of drugs'

Cary Ashby • Jun 27, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Convicted felon David M. Bischoff said he is sorry for what he did to his family and friends.

Bischoff, 26, formerly of 5015 Sherman Norwich Road, was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday -- one year each for burglary and theft of a firearm. The theft conviction required a consecutive sentence to the burglary charge.

"I'm tired of drugs; I really need some help," said Bischoff, who has spent 131 days in the Huron County Jail.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said he would consider releasing Bischoff early from prison into a community-based corrections facility, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education -- that is, if Bischoff did well in the meantime. Defendants spend four to six months in CBCFs. Bischoff can apply for early release after spending six months in prison.

Bischoff must pay $550 in restitution to his father and reimburse another male victim $350 for the price of hay. Conway said the second victim was from a break-in case that was dismissed, but the defendant had agreed reimburse the man as part of a plea deal.

In mid-May, Bischoff pleaded guilty to stealing his father's rifle during a burglary. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a separate charge of breaking and entering and agreed not to pursue an indictment in connection with suspected narcotics found with Bischoff during his March 15 arrest.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper, who called burglary and theft of firearm "very serious felonies," requested Bischoff get a lengthy prison term. She said such a sentence would protect the public, punish the defendant and reflect the seriousness of the crimes.

"Mr. Bischoff clearly took advantage of his family members," she said.

His lengthy, adult criminal record includes theft- and alcohol-related offenses. Kasper said Bischoff's crimes cover 10 years and aren't "just in Huron County, but from all over the area."

Since some of those charges are speeding, marked lanes violations and underage consumption, Huron County Public Defender David Longo said he found it hard to say Bischoff ever faced any serious charges until now -- his first felonies.

"David admits to having very serious substance abuse issues," Longo said, but he believes his client is "particularly remorseful" about what he did to his family and friends.

Longo shared an anecdote with the judge which he said shows a lot about Bischoff's character and attitude. The public defender said his client's mother and father have different perspectives on the case and when Longo asked Bischoff if he wanted his mother to speak on his behalf at sentencing, his client said he didn't want her to do that because it would pit his parents against each other.

"They didn't do it; I did it to myself," Longo said, quoting Bischoff about the crimes. "I think that speaks volumes of his attitude."

On Feb. 15, Bischoff's father told the Huron County Sheriff's Office someone broke into his home and stole a .22-250 Remington rifle, a scope, ammunition and some loose change. The man found some tire tracks and footprints in the snow near his house that indicated Bischoff and his girlfriend likely were involved due to their drug problems. The girlfriend wasn't named as a co-defendant.

Deputies put out a notice to be on the look-out for Bischoff's Chevrolet pickup truck. After his uncle created a ruse by telling Bischoff he would loan him several hundred dollars, detectives set up surveillance near a rural Willard address after they had a tip that Bischoff would be going there. When he showed up, authorities confronted him, sent a police dog around the truck, which alerted to the suspected presence of drugs and deputies searched it.

The rifle, gun case, ammunition and scope were recovered from the truck. Deputies also seized some syringes and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle and in the girlfriend's purse, they found a small amount of suspected heroin in a cellophane container which Bischoff reportedly admitted was his.

Bischoff's father was in court Wednesday, but declined to address the judge.

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