LIMA — A Lima man who randomly broke into a city woman’s residence last summer and stole food, costume jewelry and other assorted items was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison on a second-degree felony count of burglary.
Devon Eccard, 35, apologized to the resident of the home, who was present in the courtroom, and said to her, “Who I was then is not who I am today. My actions were uncalled for.”
Eccard said a relapse into a familiar pattern of drug abuse was responsible for his actions.
Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser acknowledged the psychological harm done to the victim, a 23-year-old single mother with two young children. The diminutive young woman did not know Eccard. Her home was targeted, according to Eccard’s attorney, “because Eccard did not see a vehicle in the driveway.” The Lima man with a lengthy history of burglary and theft charges, confessed to entering the house, according to court documents, and told investigators he was looking for “food and whatever money he could get.”
He acknowledged taking Vicodin, movies, costume jewelry and food items from the home, according to the report.
“Can you imagine how this victim felt?” Kohlrieser asked of the defendant. “Her safe spot was violated. You scared her so bad she has since moved and doesn’t want to live alone any more.”
The victim choked back tears as the judge spoke.
According to court documents, Lima police were dispatched on Aug. 10 to a residence in the 400 block of Elmwood Place in reference to a burglary. The resident told police she left the home at approximately 12:30 p.m. the previous day and returned around 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 10 to find her home had been ransacked. A rear window had been shattered and blood droplets were found throughout the house.
A blood sample was sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation laboratory for DNA testing and the sample was linked to Eccard. He was interviewed on Sept. 30 at the Allen County jail, where he was being held on an unrelated incident.
Eccard was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $650 to the victim.