ST. CLAIRSVILLE – James Louis Kempf, 42, 3437 Franklin St., Bellaire appeared Friday before Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II and was sentenced on one count of burglary, a felony of the fourth degree and one count of breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree. He was given five years community control sanctions and will serve 10 months in jail with credit for 263 days, and six months EOCC.
Charges stemmed from an incident October of 2010 in which Kempf under the influence of drugs gained entry into a home by tricking a five-year-old into allowing him entry into the house. He wielded two butcher knives and terrorized a mother and son before the mother was able to call the police.
Kempf had jumped bond and was captured in Pennsylvania. He was again able to skip town and was a fugitive from police since. The Bellaire Police Department had been trying to locate him.
A few months ago, the department discovered Kempf was back in the area and apprehended him.
The case was delayed by mental and competency evaluations. The victim’s family testified that the incident could very easily have ended in tragedy.
Solovan noted Kempf’s criminal history including attempted burglary, burglary, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, forgery, theft, and breaking and entering, all involving drugs or attempts to obtain drugs.
Kempf apologized to the family.
“Your actions created great fear in the victims as well as the community of Bellaire,” Solovan said. “This could have been much more serious, for the victims and for you that this turned out to be.”
Solovan underlined the seriousness of the case.
“This behavior could lead to violent consequences,” he said.
DeFrank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org