LIMA — A second former Shawnee High School teacher in as many weeks on Monday pleaded guilty to felony charges that effectively ended his teaching career.
Vince Deluca, who was scheduled to stand trial July 9 on charges that resulted from what police said was an alcohol-fueled series of criminal events that took place in earlier this year, instead entered guilty pleas Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to two felony charges and one misdemeanor infraction.
Deluca, a 48-year-old teacher at Shawnee, was indicted earlier this year by an Allen County grand jury on charges of burglary, a second-degree felony; grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Police said Deluca illegally entered a home in the 6800 block of Fort Amanda Road shortly after midnight on March 10. He reportedly had a brief verbal confrontation with a resident before leaving on foot. The homeowner told police Deluca “appeared intoxicated and was speaking incoherently.”
The victim contacted the sheriff’s office and a short time later Deluca was located at his residence in the 2800 block of West Breese Road. Also found at his home was a vehicle police said was stolen by Deluca in the 6700 block of Fort Amanda Road.
During his court appearance Monday, Deluca pleaded guilty to an amended count of trespassing in a habitation, a fourth-degree felony; grand theft of a motor vehicle, also a felony of the fourth degree; and a first-degree misdemeanor charge of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
By virtue of his guilty pleas to the felony counts, the Ohio Department of Education will revoke Deluca’s teaching certificate.
Former Shawnee High School teacher Kyle Baker last week pleaded guilty to felony charges that stemmed from his sexual involvement with a young female student. Baker had already resigned his teaching position when the plea was entered.
Deluca will be sentenced on July 31. He faces up to 36 months in prison and up to $11,625 in fines, although Judge David Cheney said there is no presumption of prison time for persons convicted of fourth-degree felony charges.
Under the terms of the plea agreement offered by prosecutors, Deluca also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $347 to Peterson Construction Company. Deluca already has paid restitution in the amount of $5,347 to various parties involved in the case, his attorney said.
Shawnee Superintendent James Kanable was present in the courtroom throughout Deluca’s hearings but declined comment Monday following the former teacher’s plea.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.