Prosecutor seeks 7 years

WARREN – An assistant prosecutor says he wants a 27-year-old Niles woman to spend at least seven years behind bars. She and her husband left their two small children in the back seat of their car while they went on a crime spree in January in Girard.

Nicole M. Burchell, of 36 Franklin St., pleaded guilty Wednesday to a four-count indictment that included two counts of burglary, a count of endangering children and a charge of petty theft that assistant prosecutor Chris Becker said stems from Burchell breaking into her own brother’s car to steal money.

Judge W. Wyatt McKay ordered a pre-sentence investigation for Burchell, who has remained in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond since her arrest Jan. 10.

Burchell faces a mandatory one-year sentence for the a firearm specification attached to one of the burglary charges. She was found with a loaded .38 caliber handgun stolen from one of the homes.

In a formal plea agreement, Becker asked McKay to hand down consecutive sentences of four and two years on the burglary charges and concurrent six-month sentences on the two remaining misdemeanor charges.

Burchell’s husband, Jacob, 28, also remains in jail and faces similar charges and is due in the courtroom of Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice later today.

The couple was arrested after Girard police answered a burglary in progress call at 863 Lawrence Ave. A neighbor told police that a man and woman kicked in the rear door of the residence and backed a car into the driveway.

The first patrolman on the scene blocked the driveway and the car – a brownish 2001 Chrysler Sebring, police said.

The patrolman heard banging on the first floor. He moved to the rear of the house and spotted the woman standing in the kitchen, the report states.

After the officer heard both voices in the kitchen, he went in. As he rounded a corner, he saw the man place something into the kitchen garbage can, the report states.

Jacob Burchell told officers that he was at the residence to do a plumbing job for the man who lives there, the report states. However, the neighbor told police that the homeowner was a woman.

The children were found by an officer walking up the driveway and turned over to a relative by police.

Police found the pillowcase in the kitchen trash can. It was filled with several pill bottles, an old cell phone, a box of .38-caliber ammunition, and a loaded .38-caliber revolver.

Officers also discovered property belonging to a woman in the 400 block of East Prospect Street, police said.

At that residence, officers found a window smashed and a rear door open. The homeowner, who had been at work at the time, told police she kept a vicious dog inside. She reported a strange chemical odor believed to incapacitate the dog, police said.

A purse, a blood glucose test meter and kit, a tan metal box with personal papers, and other items were reported missing from that house, police said.