July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Man pleads not guilty to stealing guns while armed

MEDINA — A 33-year-old Greenwich man who avoided arrest for almost a year pleaded not guilty Thursday to stealing guns from a house in Homer Township last year.

Michael A. Craft was arrested last week on charges of burglary, robbery and gun theft. All are third-degree felonies. All the charges accuse him of committing offenses while armed, which can increase prison sentences.

As a result, he could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted.

Craft is accused of breaking into a house on the 10100 block of Zimmerman Road in Homer Township on June 3, 2012.

Items reported stolen by the homeowner included $150 cash, two 12-guage shotguns, a pellet gun, a compound bow and wallets.

Also charged in the incident were Craft’s brother, Rusty D. Craft, and William J. Thayer Jr. Rusty Craft pleaded guilty and was sentenced in April to five years in prison.

Thayer also pleaded guilty in April, and in June was sentenced to 1ᄑ years in prison.

Michael Craft was scheduled for a Nov. 4 trial before Median County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler.

Kimbler told Craft he probably made his situation worse by eluding police so long.

“I have an observation for you, Mr. Craft,” Kimbler said. “Your kinds of problems don’t get better by ignoring them — legal problems and medical problems.”

Kimbler set Craft’s bond at 10 percent of $50,000, but set a condition that it must be a family member who signs the bond.

“You should know, Mr. Craft, that if you try to flee, your family will be on the hook for $45,000,” he said.

Craft remained at the county jail Friday afternoon.

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

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.