Man given 20 years in home invasion

WARREN – A man convicted by a jury of a home invasion and described by the victim as ”pure evil” was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years behind bars on Monday.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos told John Thompson, 40, that he didn’t hold out much hope about him rehabilitating himself.

Kontos handed down consecutive and maximum sentences of 11 years on aggravated burglary, eight years on a kidnapping charge and another year for possessing criminal tools.

A lot of the judge’s sentence was based on prior convictions of abduction and aggravated robbery in 1992, when Thompson served two to 25 years; a robbery conviction in 2001 when he served three years and another 18 months for a burglary conviction in 2011.

Thompson was barely out of prison when broke into a home with family members still inside.

Jurors in Kontos’ courtroom heard how Thompson was clearly identified by the Ohio State sweatshirt he was wearing.

”He’s already proven he can’t be a productive member of society. It’s not whether he’ll commit another crime, it’s when he will commit his next crime,” said Lynda Farr, who told the judge in her impact statement that she saw pure evil in Thompson’s eyes. ”He is someone with no soul, no remorse and who would hurt, possibly kill, to get what he wants.”

A jury took less than an hour to convict Thompson after hearing the case in December.

He was arrested June 15 after a police dog from the Warren Police Department tracked him down in a wooded area near the North Park Avenue home of Farr and her son, Brandon.

Farr testified how she was awakened by a noise and saw Thompson crawling in through a window.

She said he threatened her with a crowbar and forced her to take him to different rooms in the house so he could find things to steal. In the process, Farr dialed 911 and left the phone off the hook, allowing police to arrive soon.

When he was about to leave the home, Farr’s son came up from the basement and grabbed on to a red gym bag that contained a lot of the valuables, including CDs, jewelry and electronic equipment. Thompson dropped the bag and wound up wrestling with a Warren Township officer before fleeing.

When he was finally found, police found a piece of computer equipment on Thompson that belonged to Farr’s son.