April 20, 2014

Medina
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Man pleads no contest in spree of break-ins

Kyle Roberts

MEDINA — A 22-year-old Parma man was found guilty Monday for his part in a rash of thefts in Liverpool Township just before New Year’s Day.

Kyle E. Roberts was accused of breaking into two unattached garages in the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Columbia Road on Dec. 27 or 28.

A Feb. 27 grand jury indictment accused him of stealing .22-caliber and .44-caliber pistols, a 2004 GMC Envoy, a 1996 Ford pickup and more than $1,000 in music equipment from the garages.

Roberts, who was scheduled for a Monday trial, instead pleaded no contest to two counts of firearm theft, third-degree felonies; two counts of grand theft auto, fourth-degree felonies; and three counts of breaking and entering, fifth-degree felonies.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier scheduled Roberts for a July 22 sentencing. He could face up to 16 years in prison.

One of the owners of the garages said in January that sheriff’s deputies told him they suspected five or six thieves were involved, based on tracks in the snow.

Sheriff’s Lt. Travis Colonius said in April they were still investigating whether there were others. He said physical evidence at the crime scene pointed to Roberts’ participation.

Colonius could not be reached for comment Monday.

Also in court Monday

Joseph Thomas

• Joseph W. Thomas, 28, of Cleveland, pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape, first-degree felonies.

He’s accused of raping a Brunswick woman in April, along with co-defendant Christopher T. Willard, 25, of Strongsville.

Thomas’ trial is scheduled for Aug. 26 before Collier.

Rape is punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

Thomas and Willard’s charges are identical. Willard pleaded not guilty Thursday before county Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler and is scheduled for an Aug. 5 trial.

Seth Cunningham

• Seth W. Cunningham, 21, of 1375 Central Park Lane, Montville Township, pleaded not guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

He’s accused of taking a $447 water pipe at gunpoint from a Brunswick tobacco supplies store May 13.

Cunningham, who was a University of Akron football player, was suspended from the team pending the outcome of his case.

If convicted, he could face more than 11 years in prison.

He is scheduled for an Aug. 26 trial.

Michael Huffman

• Michael G. Huffman, 42, of 3944 Greenwich Road, Guilford Township, pleaded not guilty to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol, which are third-degree felonies because of his prior convictions.

This is Huffman’s sixth appearance in Medina County Common Pleas Court since 1996. Charges against him have included driving under the influence, cocaine possession, gross sexual imposition, credit card theft and vandalism.

Also, Huffman was extradited in 2005 to Marion County, Fla., on a charge of grand theft.

He’s also appeared in Medina and Wadsworth municipal courts 18 times since 1991 — and at least eight of his municipal charges were related to drugs or alcohol.

The judge scheduled Huffman for an Aug. 5 trial.

Gary Ostrowski

• Gary W. Ostrowski, 56, of 1010 Essex Lane, Medina, pleaded not guilty to leading police on a three-county car chase while intoxicated.

Ostrowski is charged with failure to obey police officers, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He’s also charged with driving under the influence in Wadsworth Municipal Court.

His trial is scheduled for Aug. 5 in Kimbler’s court.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.