DARKE COUNTY - Regardless of family and employer support, one Darke County young man was recently sentenced up to three years in Ohio’s Department of Corrections for aggravated burglary.
One by one, family, girlfriend, employer and others hugged or shook hands with Jason Hunt in court Friday as he was taken into custody.
Jason L. Hunt, 21, of Greenville, was sentenced on an indictment for a first degree felony of aggravated burglary. The incident occurring in January in New Madison where Hunt broke into a home, brandished a small handgun, and pointed it at a 21-year-old woman’s head, demanded that she leave with him and threatened everyone in the home.
His attorney James P. Fleisher told the court that Hunt has a family history and relationship with the victims in the case. Fleisher said it was unusual to have such family and employer support for the young man and to release him as he works through his problems, rehabilitation and has taken all the right steps toward it. He said the incident was fueled by substance abuse and alcohol. At least 20 people showed up for the case.
The attorney added that while Hunt was not to have contact with the victim, they are in love and planned to live together. He also had a letter for the court from Hunt.
Hunt’s father told the judge that it’s was a one-time deal, the young man made a mistake while drinking and has a future. He told the judge if they lock him up, it’s over and he will never get the opportunity again. The young man’s girlfriend also spoke on his behalf, saying that she doesn’t want to see his future change and deserves a second chance.
Hunt also asked the judge not to send him away.
Judge Jonathan Hein said that there are statutory and public safety factors to consider, since Hunt brandished a firearm during the incident, scaring people. He explained that drug and alcohol abuse is an odd disease and it could happen again if he let his guard down. The behavior is still a choice every day, advised Judge Hein. He added that the public’s perception of drug abuse is needed to consider as well as deterrents like electronic monitoring and jail.
The judge acknowledged the Winchester company for hiring a felon, because felons have skills that employers need but don’t always hire them, but the crime is real.
He ordered three years in the Ohio Department of Corrections and community control sanctions, to pay restitution of $1,202 to the victim and court costs, to name a few requirements.