Burglar sentenced to probation
The judge gave lenient punishment because of criminal's actions.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Christopher Jackson's decision to surrender to authorities shortly after he burglarized an apartment was among the factors that kept him out of prison, a judge said.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court placed Jackson, 22, of Youngstown, on five years' probation Friday, adding that he must continue with substance abuse and vocational training programs provided by Community Corrections Association on Market Street. Jackson also must submit to random drug testing.
The judge told Jackson that he personally hates burglars, primarily because they violate the one place citizens feel the most safe -- their homes.
"This victim now sleeps with a knife and has a baseball bat nearby as well," Judge Krichbaum said. "You have taken away her feeling of security. If you don't respect another person's home, you don't respect anything about our society."
The Ohio Adult Parole Authority report, however, recommended probation and that Jackson continue the CCA programs.
Robert Andrews, an assistant county prosecutor, said the state took no position on sentencing. Jackson pleaded guilty to the burglary charge in November and could have been sentenced up to eight years in prison.
Andrews said Jackson broke into the apartment of a woman who lived on South Avenue in Boardman on Aug. 31, taking several items. Jackson also lived in the apartment complex at the time of the crime.
The judge said he normally sends burglars to prison, but considered granting probation to Jackson because when he was confronted by the woman who saw him holding a bag with various items, he confessed he was the robber.
The woman called police, and Jackson waited at the scene, surrendering to authorities when they arrived. Jackson also apologized to the victim at that time.
The judge said Jackson's behavior at his arrest and the APA report prompted him to give Jackson a chance, but it came with a price.
"If you violate any terms of your probation -- failing to report to CCA, failing a drug test -- or if you mess up in any way, I will put you in prison for eight years," the judge said.