MEDINA — A jury found a 27-year-old Medina man guilty of burglary Tuesday after deliberating 1½ hours.
Michael D. Basford was convicted after a one-day trial.
Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier is scheduled to sentence Basford at 9 a.m. today on a charge of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison.
Basford was accused of forcing his way into a friend’s Sunset Drive apartment in Lodi in March. Prosecutors said he attacked his friend, 24-year-old Brad Clements, because he owed Basford $200.
“Everyone has a right to be secure in their own homes,” county Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said. “That’s a right guaranteed in the U.S.”
After the attack, witnesses said Basford went to Subway, where Clement’s girlfriend worked. The girlfriend, Amanda Trimble, testified Basford admitted in front of customers that he fought with and could have killed Clements.
Salisbury said Basford was angry because Basford’s girlfriend, Chelssey Porter, loaned Clements the money without telling him. Basford and Porter recently had been evicted, Salisbury said, so money was tight.
Clements and Trimble said they had borrowed money from the couple before and they always paid them back.
Basford’s attorney, Nowar Katirji, argued during the trial that Clements let Basford in and that it was Clements who attacked Basford.
Katirji also faulted the police, who he said weren’t diligent enough to get Basford’s address or phone number so they could get his side of the story.
“If police knew where he was, they would have gone to speak with him that night,” Katirji said.
Instead, the case was sent to a county grand jury before police ever interviewed Basford and a warrant was issued for his arrest in April.
Basford was arrested in June, 2½ months after his indictment and three months after the Lodi incident.
Police received an anonymous tip about Basford’s whereabouts, but reported he escaped into some woods when he saw a cruiser approaching.
He was arrested a few days later after police reached out on social media.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.