Man gets 18 months in Brookfield burglary

WARREN — A Hermitage man was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday after being convicted of a burglary charge connected to an April 2016 break-in at the home of a Brookfield woman.

James N. Lenhart, 20, of 1570 Park Ave., appeared before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice, who questioned the defendant about his plans to pay back the victim in the case, who earlier told the court how the break-in into her bedroom had made her “feel violated.”

Lenhart, who pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony on Dec. 1, said he might be able to pay her back $100 a month.

“You mean to tell me you have been sitting in jail for a week and that is all you could come up with,” Rice said shortly before giving Lenhart the prison sentence.

Court records show that Lenhart did not appear for the sentencing hearing that was originally scheduled Jan. 20 and was arrested last week on a warrant.

Tammy Pipic of Brookfield, in addressing the court in her unprepared victim impact statement, said she had $5,571 worth of items stolen from her bedroom. Included in the list were rings and lockets once owned by deceased family members, including her mother. Pipic said these items were “irreplaceable.”

“I thought my home was my safe place, but after finding all my belongings in disarray, I feel violated because my sanctuary has been taken away from me,” Pipic said.

Rice ordered full restitution be made to Pipic.

Lenhart, who said Pipic was a friend of the family, apologized to the victim. He said a drug problem “led to action that I have come to regret.”