Local man 'was at a low spot in his life'

Cary Ashby • Aug 22, 2014 at 5:07 PM

A man was fined $500 Thursday for possessing a vehicle that was stolen from a rural Bellevue address.

Benjamin W. Burkhart, 23, most recently of 227 Madden Ave., Bellevue, faces a 90-day discretionary jail sentence during his three years of probation.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway credited him with earlier spending 10 days behind bars and ruled Burkhart's probation officer has the discretion of when to have him serve the remainder of the jail term. The officer also can ask the judge to waive the sentence if the defendant does well on probation.

On July 1, Burkhart pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property for a Dec. 20 incident. When he was arrested at the Family Dollar on Ohio 113 just outside of Bellevue, police found some items reportedly stolen from Walmart and the victim's garage.

"We're pretty sure everything was recovered intact," Huron County Public Defender David Longo said in July.

"Mr. Burkhart was at a low spot in his life," he said during Thursday's hearing.

Burkhart, who was "on the out with his parents" and drifting from place to place when he committed the crime, now is working 40 hours or more weekly with his brother and father at the family business, Longo said.

"I think he's doing pretty well. ... He's turned a corner," the public defender added.

The victim didn't request any restitution.

"I am trying to accept more responsibility in my life. I am trying to put this behind," said Burkhart, who plans on getting his own apartment.

If he violates his probation, he faces one year in prison.

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