Tobacco Outlet burglars plead guilty


Danielle Tomak

Brandon Schlueb

Two suspects accused of burglarizing a West Jefferson tobacco shop and leading police on a high-speed chase pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from the April incident Monday.

Danielle Tomak, 26, of Delaware, was initially charged with complicity to theft, complicity to breaking and entering and failure to comply after breaking into Tobacco Outlet, located at 245 E. Main St., West Jefferson, with two others on April 15.

The three tripped an audible alarm while in the store.

West Jefferson police and Franklin County sheriff’s deputies gave chase. The passengers reportedly threw stolen items out of the vehicle during the pursuit.

The suspects crashed into a fence near West Broad Street and Interstate 270 in west Columbus, where they were apprehended. Police found cigarettes, lottery tickets and other items in the vehicle.

All three suspects have prior criminal history.

Tomak pleaded guilty Monday to breaking and entering and failure to comply. The complicity to theft charge was dropped in the agreement.

Tomak’s attorney, Dale Frenz, and assistant prosecutor Nick Adkins agreed on a 20-month prison sentence for the crimes. Tomak faced up to 48 months in prison and a $12,500 fine for the charges.

Her driver’s license was suspended for five years. She was also ordered to three years of post release control and to pay $769 in restitution to the Tobacco Outlet.

In what Franz described as a “unique request,” Tomak asked if her sentencing could be delayed so that she could remain in jail. She said she found out while in jail that she is pregnant, and has scheduled a doctor’s appointment at the jail.

Judge Eamon Costello assured Tomak obstetrician services would be provided in prison. Tomak said she is about three months pregnant.

Tomak’s co-defendant, Brandon Schlueb, 30, of Columbus, also accepted a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to breaking and entering. Charges of possession of criminal tools and theft were dropped in the agreement between Adkins and Schlueb’s attorney, Jennifer Hitt.

He was also ordered to pay $769 in restitution to the Tobacco Outlet. He will be sentenced Aug. 6.

The third suspect involved in the crime, Justin Buchanan, 29, of Whitehall, pleaded guilty to a single count of breaking and entering last month, with a misdemeanor charge of theft and felony charge of possession of criminal tools dropped in a plea deal.

He is scheduled for sentencing July 20.

Also in common pleas court Monday:

• Jamie R. Smith Sr., 38, of Mount Sterling, was sentenced to three years community control for drug possession. He was ordered to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program.

• A warrant was issued for the arrest of James J. Parfitt III, 31, of London, after he did not appear for his scheduled arraignment.

Andrea McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.

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