A year in prison for garden center break-in
By Jane Beathard
One of three Columbus-area men convicted of a night time break-in at Madison Garden Center near West Jefferson last summer will spend a year in prison for the crime, following a sentencing hearing on Friday.
Cheveldes Chavis, 34, pleaded guilty in Madison County Common Pleas Court in November to charges of breaking and entering and possession of criminal tools in connection with the June 21 theft.
He was released on bond, but failed to show up for sentencing on Dec. 17. He was re-arrested in Franklin County and returned to Tri-County Regional Jail on Jan. 25.
Co-defendants Thomas Dalton, 56, and Charles Logan, 44, pleaded guilty to similar charges last year. Dalton received a community control sentence. Logan went to prison for six months.
Judge Robert D. Nichols said Chavis’ lengthy criminal history, including convictions in Ohio and Texas, demanded longer prison time.
“He’s a pro,” Nichols said.
Prior to sentencing, Madison Garden Center owner Dave Spegal told Nichols his business suffered from last year’s break-in. His insurance premiums increased 24 percent with a deductible so high it won’t cover replacement of his small garden tools.
In addition to the year in prison, Chavis was ordered to pay a third of the $701 restitution due Spegal.
In other common pleas court action on Friday:
• Zachary C. Allen, 20, of West Jefferson, pleaded guilty to trafficking heroin and the prescription painkiller Vicodin in the vicinity of a child on Oct. 17, 2012. Additional charges were dismissed by the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office.
Allen appeared lethargic in court, prompting Nichols to order an impromptu drug test. Allen tested positive for marijuana, opiates and anti-anxiety drugs and was jailed.
He now faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Sentencing was set for March 22, following a pre-sentence investigation.
• Emerson Jeffrey, 22, an inmate at Madison Correctional Institution, pleaded guilty to possessing a homemade knife on July 26, 2012 and was sentenced to nine additional months in prison.
Jeffrey is currently serving five years for burglary and tampering with evidence in Hardin County. He is now due for release in May 2017.
• Weldon Potts III, 28, of London, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property on Sept. 2, 2012. Potts faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine for the conviction.
However, he’s likely to be placed on community control, pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Nichols set sentencing for March 22.
Potts’ co-defendant, Keith D. Daniels, 27, of Columbus, is set for trial on Feb. 12.
On Friday, Daniels fired his court-appointed lawyer in order to hire a private attorney. Nichols said Daniels was free to change lawyers, but the judge refused to move the trial date.
• Robert Fish, 21, of London, pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm on Nov. 9, 2012. As a convicted felon, Fish is forbidden from having a gun.
He now faces up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the third-degree felony conviction.
Nichols ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for March 22.