The second of two defendants charged in a northside car dealership break-in and theft attempt has been sentenced to community control in Defiance County Common Pleas Court.
Kaleigh Fletcher, 21, was placed on community control for three years on two counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, each a fourth-degree felony; and a charge of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony.
She also was ordered to have no contact with Stykemain Buick GMC and Estle Chevrolet, while a 51-month prison term was reserved if she violates terms of community control.
An additional charge of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and three counts of possessing criminal tools, each a fifth-degree felony, were dismissed as part of the plea negotiations.
Fletcher, who was represented by attorney Elizabeth Smith of Kalida, was indicted by a county grand jury along with two co-defendants — Christian Malzahn, 23, Springfield; and Barryn McDonnell, 22, Rolla, Mo. — for a break-in and theft attempt on Jan. 20 at Stykemain Buick GMC and Estle Chevrolet, 25124 Elliott Road.
A vehicle theft attempt was thwarted by a Defiance County Sheriff’s deputy who was on routine patrol. While Fletcher and McDonnell were taken into custody, Malzahn fled in a stolen vehicle.
He was pursued by Defiance police, heading out of town and crossing into Henry County and Wood County, where he was stopped by a spike strip — placed on the road by authorities to puncture the vehicle’s tires — and taken into custody.
Malzahn was sentenced to a 58-month prison term in March on charges of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; and breaking and entering, a fifth-degree. He is eligible for early judicial release in approximately three months.
Charges remain pending in common pleas court against McConnell.
“This was really good police work,” said Defiance County Prosecutor Morris Murray, commending the patrolling deputy who “noticed that there was possible criminal activity going on in the lot.” Too, he complimented the city police for tracking Malzahn’s vehicle, as well as the good communication between departments.
“We’ve probably had about five of these cases within the last couple years,” said Murray. “It’s troubling because there’s some perception you can come through a smaller area like ours and do stuff like this.”