Lima woman sentenced to five years in prison after jury’s guilty verdict

LIMA — Jurors found a Lima woman guilty of aggravated burglary and theft, and Judge Terri Kohlrieser sentenced her to a minimum of five years in prison Wednesday in the Allen County Common Pleas Court.

On the final day of the two-day jury trial for Breanna Shurelds, 25, jurors heard defense witnesses and closing arguments. Shurelds’ girlfriend, Allesha Julien, testified that when she and Shurelds were at Marissa Ledezma’s house, Erick Echevarria yelled at Shurelds. The previous day, Echevarria testified he was not saying anything during this interaction between him and Shurelds.

Julien said she thought Shurelds was getting items from the house that belonged to Shurelds’ brother because she recognized a blue jacket that Julien bought Shurelds’ brother for Christmas. She also testified she didn’t know Ledezma and Shurelds’ brother had broken up. She also said when Ledezma returned to the house, she had a knife. She claimed she didn’t see a PlayStation 5 with its accessories being taken from the house but admitted to seeing the shoes.

Shurelds testified next in her own defense and said Ledezma’s house was a “safe environment for me” and felt comfortable going over there whenever. Her testimony matched Julien’s, including that she didn’t take a PlayStation out of the house.

During closing arguments, Assistant Prosecutor Kyle Thines reviewed the evidence with jurors and said, “It almost sounds like she’s shopping when going through the things” regarding videos of Shurelds taking items from the house, naming family members that she could give the items to.

Thines said Julien being so close with Shurelds could give her a motive to lie for her. He said the phone conversation between Shurelds and Ledezma from the past weekend showed Shurelds’ consciousness of guilt and that Shurelds seemed comfortable lying on the stand. He also said Shurelds’ and Julien’s testimonies don’t line up with the physical evidence.

Assistant Public Defender Megan McLean told jurors the only thing Shurelds could be guilty of is theft because the other allegations could be explained or not proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the state.

Shurelds was given an opportunity to speak before the sentencing, when she said she didn’t intend to cause harm to anyone or burglarize the house, and she didn’t deserve the aggravated burglary charge.

“I make mistakes just like every one of you. I’m not evil. I’m not a crazy individual. What the videos made me out to be is not who I am,” Shurelds said.

Kohlrieser reprimanded Shurelds before handing down her sentencing for calling Ledezma over the weekend and trying to convince her to not testify. This call also violated a protection order.

“I certainly don’t appreciate witness tampering,” Kohlrieser said. “You were trying to be deceptive to the court.”

In regard to the video evidence, Kohlrieser said, “Those videos do show who you were in that moment. That behavior was ridiculous.”

Kohlrieser also ordered Shurelds to pay restitution of $1,149.04 to Echevarria for his stolen items.

Reach Charlotte Caldwell at 567-242-0451.