Theft case nets woman, 38, probation

YOUNGSTOWN — Christine J. Dejute, 38, of Mineral Ridge and Cortland, said she does not remember breaking into a home on Roy Street on the West Side last Oct. 24 or 25 and removing items from the home of a man who had recently died.

But a neighbor reported seeing Dejute outside of the home with a trunk and other possessions from the home, and Dejute was “messed up” from substance abuse, prosecutors said.

She pleaded guilty Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a high level felony of burglary and a low-level felony of theft from a person in a protected class and was sentenced to two years of probation.

Among the terms of her probation are that she complete the treatment program she has begun through Community Corrections Association of Youngstown, said Judge Anthony Donofrio. She also must pay restitution once the value of a large number of Nintendo games that were missing from the home is determined.

Ahad Abdullah, son of the homeowner, spoke to Donofrio, saying that he was at his father’s funeral when the burglary took place.

“I felt violated and hurt by the situation,” Abdullah told the judge. “I do not tolerate anyone coming into my house and trying to steal things.”

Dejute’s attorney, John Juhasz, said Dejute spent six months in jail because no one from her family posted the $7,500 bond.

He said Dejute had “no connection” with Roy Street before this incident.

“She was getting a ride from the South Side of Youngstown from somebody that she can’t identify to me, leaving from a place that she can’t identify to me. The only thing she can tell me is she was on her way to Cortland and this person dropped her off, and there she stayed for … an indeterminate amount of time.”

Juhasz said those details “really show the level of addiction she had.” He said family members called him and said, “She’s sitting in jail. She needs drug treatment.” But nobody posted her bond.

Juhasz said he believes the reason was, “It comes to a point where her family is so frustrated with trying to help somebody, as they have fallen that deeply into the addiction hole, that’s what Christine was.”

He said Dejute “dried out” in jail and then was assessed for substance abuse and was placed in CCA and has construction skills.

Dejute apologized to the judge and said, “I made a mistake. I just want to to be able to start living my life.” She said she had no idea who the person was who took her to Roy Street.

“It was a friend from jail. Big mistake. He dropped me off. He said he was getting gas money,” she said. Juhasz said a neighbor saw Dejute in the house, but Dejute doesn’t remember that.

The judge told Dejute that if she is not successful in her treatment program, she may go to prison.


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