A 17-year-old from eastern Ohio was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday for breaking into a London home in December and severely beating the resident while holding her at gunpoint.
Brandon Chaffin, 21773 Starlite Drive, West Lafayette, pleaded guilty in Madison County Common Pleas Court in June to a single count of aggravated burglary. Additional charges of kidnapping and felonious assault with a gun were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Ohio law allows Chaffin, who was 16 at the time of the crime, to be tried as an adult.
The charges stemmed from a Dec. 8, 2015 home invasion by Chaffin and another juvenile on Old Springfield Road. The boy, who was 14 years old at the time, was charged in juvenile court with aggravated burglary, said assistant prosecutor Nick Adkins.
Judge Eamon Costello recounted the events. He said Chaffin and another youth forced their way into the house to steal money they believed was earned from marijuana sales. They beat the resident, who was home alone and did not know them, and took turns holding her at gunpoint while they searched the house. They took an iPad, Xbox, jewelry and cigarettes.
The victim shook and cried on Thursday as she asked Costello to impose the maximum 11-year prison sentence on Chaffin.
She suffered a broken nose in the beating and believed she would be shot. The attack left her traumatized and afraid to stay alone, she said.
“I never stayed in the house again,” she said. “The rest of my family is also traumatized.”
The victim said she now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and legally carries a concealed weapon.
Costello noted Chaffin came from a “less than ideal” family situation and had a difficult childhood. The judge also said Chaffin cooperated with officers investigating the break in.
Chaffin apologized to the victim and accepted responsibility for his actions.
“I wish I could have a second chance,” he said.
In addition to the prison time, Chaffin was ordered to serve a five-year probation and pay $579 in restitution.
Also on Thursday, Anthony T. Hopkins, 34, 383 Postle Dr., Columbus, was sentenced to 11 months in prison for stealing the credit card of a Mount Sterling woman in August 2015, then using it seven times within hours.
Hopkins was indicted in March for theft, and misuse of a credit card. He pleaded guilty in June to theft – a fifth-degree felony.
Costello read a long laundry list of Hopkins’ previous convictions, beginning with the man’s teens. Four prior prison stints had failed to reform Hopkins, he noted.
The judge said Hopkins is a long-time drug addict with a five-year heroin habit. He was skeptical of the man’s request for additional drug treatment.
“(Past) results have not been great,” Costello said.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.
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