Break-in defendant gets probation

Judge: Victims suffered psychological harm because man stole drawings from their now-deceased daughter and they can't be replaced.
Cary Ashby
Mar 28, 2014


A break-in defendant will be screened for acceptance into a locked-down treatment center.

Donald T. Ott, 57, of 303 E. Main St., was fined $250 Thursday and must pay $158 to the victimized couples during his three years of his intensive probation. He's also prohibited from having any association with the couple or going on their property.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said the victims are his friends and one of them is a classmate and wanted to know if defense attorney John Allton was comfortable proceeding with Thursday's sentencing hearing.

Allton said he and the state determined the most appropriate resolution to the case would be Ott going to a community-based corrections facility and a visiting judge might look at his client's record and sentence him to prison. Defendants spend four to six months in a CBCF, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education. Given those circumstances, Allton said there's no problem with Conway handling the case.

"We're in agreement he be screened for a CBCF," Allton said about a sentencing recommendation with Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Dina Shenker.

Ott earlier pleaded guilty to breaking and entering for an Aug. 5 incident.

Conway said the victims suffered some psychological harm because Ott stole some drawings from their now-deceased daughter and they can't be replaced. Allton said Ott "has no recall about taking the drawings," but has been straight forward with him about stealing such items as spatulas and slippers.

The judge credited Ott with "moving in the right direction" with his sobriety, but said it's possible the CBCF won't accept him due to the medications he is taking. If that's the case, Ott would be brought back to court for a further sentencing hearing.

"My client does have some mental issues and alcohol issues," Allton said.

Ott must undergo psychological and substance-abuse counseling as a condition of probation. He also is subject to random drug screens. If he violates the terms of his community control sanctions, he faces one year in prison.

The defendant is scheduled to be released May 12 from the Huron County Jail for an unrelated sentence through Norwalk Municipal Court. Ott is serving a 75-day term for aggravated menacing. The Norwalk Police Department investigated the Dec. 4 incident.




Unfortunately this fellow needs lots of time in a mental institution. He is a danger to himself and others. Hope someone can figure out how to solve this situation.

Cliff Cannon

We became friends in 6th. grade. Best friends in high school. Through out thick and thin we have stayed true to one another.

Now mental health issues have forced me to agree with " Sarrek " in the great prayer that "Hope someone can figure out how to solve this situation." For we, his family who love him so, can not.

So please pray for him in this hour of despair. Because without the challenges of mental health, he is a very skilled ,good man. Not only that: He was a gifted athlete who so many rooted for and if, you root for someone in good times, shouldn't you root even harder for them, in times of trouble ? So,please do.


Ok have made comments in the past on other articles and about other people, vilifying them and their criminal/drug activity. Where is your rage and vitriol on the criminal activity of this guy? Can't have it both ways. Maybe no comment would have been the best decision.

Cliff Cannon

Normally, I don't comment often on crime stories. However,your right I have vilified some criminal's so perhaps, your correct 'no comment' would have been the best decision here.

Yet,since I am the reason Tom is currently in jail as well as having already had an essay in the paper seeking prayer for him as well as having publically rooted for quite a number of criminals to turn their lives around in this forum. ( and gotten attacked for doing so )

On second thought, I see no contradiction here. Besides if one doesn't want their best friend to turn their life around, they weren't much of a friend in the first place, were they ?