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Jury decides burglary suspect’s fate

Deliberations resume today

WARREN — A Trumbull County jury will continue deliberations today to decide the fate of a Bazetta man who was accused of a December 2015 break-in at a Mecca home.

The jury of six men and six women spent two hours Tuesday, deliberating the case against Hargus D. Hall, 34, of Knapp Drive. The jury foreman told Common Pleas Judge W. Wyatt McKay about 5:30 p.m. they needed more time to deliberate. The jury went home and will return to court about 1 p.m. today.

The two-day trial against Hall included four state witnesses called by assistant Prosecutor Diane Barber.

Testimony showed Hargus entered the front door at the home of James Hughes in the 300 block of Mahan Denman Road on the afternoon of Dec. 10, 2015. Under direct examination, Hughes, who is a trash collector, testified he came home from work about 2:45 p.m. and found a white Cadillac in his driveway. He said he put the vehicle’s license plate number in his cell phone and noticed the front door open. As he got out of his vehicle, Hughes encountered a man in a sweatshirt with his hands in his pockets, a police report states.

Asked by Barber to identify that man, Hughes pointed out Hall. Hughes testified that the man told him he was looking to buy a four-wheeler and thought the address was on Thompson-Clark Road, which is located to the west. Asked how he got in the house, the intruder told Hughes the door was open.

“I let him go,” Hughes said as he described the man’s Cadillac pulling out of his drive and heading east toward Bazetta Road. After the man left, Hughes testified he called 911.

Hughes also testified there was no signs of forced entry and nothing appeared disturbed. Two days later, however, Hughes told the court he reported to deputies a missing electronic tablet worth about $100.

Police reports showed Hall was arrested about eight hours later in the parking lot of 250 Tod Ave. NW in Warren.

Defense attorney Gregory S. Robey did not dispute the fact his client was in the home.

“He made a boneheaded move,” Robey said during his opening.

In closing, Robey said the state did not prove their case and moved to have the jury consider a lesser included burglary charge, but that motion was denied by McKay prior to deliberations. Robey called no defense witnesses.

If found guilty, Hall could face a maximum of eight years in prison. Records show Hall had served prison sentences in 2015 after pleading guilty in Common Pleas Court to a charge procuring a prostitute for another person. He also served time for a September 2014 conviction on a charge of attempted complicity to illegally conveying drugs into the county jail.

gvogrin@tribtoday.com

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