Pair sentenced in burglaries

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Friday’s session of Belmont County Common Pleas Court included sentences handed down on the perpetrators of a spree of cabin burglaries. Judge John M. Solovan presided.

Christopher William Goldsmith, 21, who will reside in Columbus or Martins Ferry upon release, and Steven Michael Tracy, 19, 211 N. Seventh St., Martins Ferry, were sentenced on three counts of felony three burglary, two counts of felony four burglary, and one count felony five breaking and entering. The third degree felonies will be served consecutively, as will the fourth degree felonies, but they will be served concurrent with each other and the breaking and entering charge will be concurrent with the first five for a total sentence of four years.

“The defendant’s crimes created harm so great or unusual that a single term does not adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct and the need to adequately protect the public from future crimes,” Solovan said during Goldsmith’s sentencing.

Joint and several restitution was set at $6,598.78. Solovan noted that the amount is a reasonable estimation of monies lost as a result of the crimes. Some of the stolen items may be retrieved and if so the figure will be adjusted.

Charges stem from a series of cabin break-ins at Piedmont Lake. The pair was charged with five counts of trespassing into occupied structures and one count breaking and entering into an unoccupied structure. The crimes were motivated by a drug habit.

Solovan noted the crimes represented an escalating pattern of violated entry into others’ homes with reckless disregard for the residents.

“Burglary is not just theft,” he said to Goldsmith. “Burglary violates a person’s most private place. It creates fear and anxiety. A feeling like there’s no safe place to retreat in their life. You violated that for a lot of people.”

Clarence William Bertram, 21, 22 Vermont St., Wheeling Island, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to operating a vehicle to willfully elude police at risk to others, and discharging a firearm over a public highway at risk to others, felonies of the third degree occurring Feb. 20, 2013. Each carries a maximum sentence of 36 months. Should Bertram be found guilty of the firearm count, it is mandated that the sentences be served consecutively for a maximum of six years. Charges stem from a shooting in Bellaire that led to the 117 mile-per-hour chase.

A status conference was set for June 21. Plea agreement deadline is July 12, and trial is set for July 16. Bond was set at $20,000.

Christopher David Harding, 42, who will reside in Shadyside upon his release, was sentenced on one count of importuning, a felony of the fifth degree occurring Dec. 1, 2012. He was given five years of community control sanctions. He will serve up to six months in jail, six months EOCC and afterwards enroll in Crossroads. His sentence will be served consecutively with a pending theft violation.

He was designated a Tier 1 sex offender/child victim offender. Solovan noted the mental and emotional strain of the 13-year-old victim.

Tamara Strader, 36, 112 Gail Avenue, Bethesda, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to counts of theft and forgery, felonies of the fifth degree occurring Dec. 11, 2012. A status conference was set for June 21, with plea agreement deadline July 19 and trial Aug. 1. She faces a maximum of two years. Bond was set at $10,000.

A warrant was issued for Tyrone Martin Allen, 31, 98 Ohio St., Wheeling.

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