Convicted burglar jailed after allegedly running from trooper

Cary Ashby • Aug 11, 2014 at 11:55 PM

A convicted burglar who had been out of jail since May 6 is now being held without bond.

Rebecca A. Hale’s latest run-in with authorities is in connection with running away from a state trooper last week after a speeding-related traffic stop. Hale, 24, of 316 Rae Court, Willard, was the passenger during a traffic stop that happened just after 6 p.m. Aug. 1 on Townline Road 12 near Willard.

Trooper Thomas Halko, of the state Highway Patrol’s Norwalk post, clocked a female driver going 43 mph in a 35-mph zone, according to the patrol.

Halko, in his report, said he followed the driver and when the woman pulled over, he saw a purse spilled on the ground near the left, rear passenger door. The trooper asked the driver whose purse it was and the woman, who wasn’t cited, said it belonged to Hale’s daughter.

Hale then ran away from the scene and the vehicle occupants said she fled because she was wanted on a warrant, according to the patrol.

The Huron County Sheriff’s Office and Willard Police Department responded to the scene. By 6:19 p.m., authorities had Hale in custody. Sheriff’s Cpl. Jeff Kerber brought the woman back to the scene, where Halko interviewed her.

After Kerber drove Hale to the Huron County Jail, he reported finding 13 balloons of suspected heroin in the back of his cruiser, according to the patrol. Authorities sent the balloons to a lab for testing.

On May 6, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway released Hale from jail on a personal recognizance bond after she entered a “not guilty” plea. That means she signed a court document in which she promised to appear for future hearings.

About a month later, Hale pleaded guilty to burglary. However, she failed to appear for her July 23 sentencing hearing and the court issued a warrant for her arrest. Her new sentencing date is Sept. 24.

Hale’s co-defendant, Joseph J. Blackburn, 28, of 3076 Hanville Corners Road, Monroeville, was sentenced in late July to 180 days in jail on the work-release program. He will serve 120 days after he completes a separate, 44-day term for a probation violation through Norwalk Municipal Court. The remaining 60 days can be imposed at the discretion of Blackburn’s felony probation officer, who also has the option of asking Conway to waive the sentence if Blackburn does well during his three years of intensive probation.

Also, Blackburn must pay $250 in restitution to the male burglary victim and was fined $250. He isn’t allowed to have any contact with the man or be on his property.

Willard police investigated the Sept. 7 burglary and the theft of a 32-inch, flat-screen television from an apartment.

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