By Ed Runyan
Nichole Allen, the wife of the burglar who died when a homeowner fired a shotgun through the front door of his home during a break-in July 12, 2013, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday.
Allen, 36, of Morris Street in Mineral Ridge, pleaded guilty before Judge Ronald Rice of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her husband and attempted aggravated burglary for her role in the burglary.
As with two of the other burglars, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Nichole Allen in exchange for her guilty plea to the lesser charges. She is the last of the four co-defendants in the case to be sentenced.
Nichole Allen was the driver, and Mindy Sierra, 34, of Niles was a passenger in the car that dropped off Terry Allen, 37; Michael Burns, 34, of Mineral Ridge; and Scott Crislip, 18, of Niles, at the home on state Route 46 near U.S. Route 422 the night of the burglary.
Burns told police the men were there to steal copper and didn’t think anyone was in the house.
But the homeowner heard Terry Allen, Crislip and Burns using a crowbar on the back door to break in, then saw people run toward the front door and try to break in at that entrance.
Homeowner Roy Hahn got his shotgun and fired it once through the front door, killing Terry Allen and injuring Burns. He was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Nichole Allen showed up at the home while police were there, saying she believed the man lying dead was her husband.
Burns was convicted at trial of the same two charges as Nichole Allen and got 11 years in prison. Crislip got six years and Sierra got two years, both pleading guilty to the same charges as Burns and Nichole Allen.
It is the first time in county history that prosecutors have indicted individuals on charges that would hold a co-conspirator accountable for the death of a co-conspirator.
Allen apologized to society, her family and friends “for the decisions I have made. I will pay for this the rest of my life.
“I lost not only my husband but my best friend of 20 years.”
At an earlier hearing, Chris Becker, assistant county prosecutor, said Nichole and Terry Allen left their four children home alone the night they attempted to steal copper pipes so they could get money to attend the Trumbull County Fair the next night.