MEDINA — A 22-year-old Cleveland man who broke into a Litchfield Township residence in June while a teenager was home will spend two years behind bars.
A jury found Matthew A. Poland guilty in October of burglary, a second-degree felony, because a 13-year-old girl was home when he broke in.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.
The girl was at her father’s home for the weekend, Medina County Assistant Prosecutor Matt Razavi said in court Thursday. The girl locked herself in a bedroom, he said, and called police while Poland and an accomplice were inside.
In court, Razavi said Poland’s accomplice — Arthur C. Morris Jr., who’s awaiting a Jan. 6 trial on an identical charge — opened the door to the locked bedroom and encountered the girl. After seeing her, Razavi said Morris and Poland left.
“You don’t need to be 13 years old to be upset that men are breaking into your home,” Razavi said, “let alone that you have an encounter with one.”
Razavi said the break-in has had lasting effects on the girl, who no longer will visit her father’s home.
“It’s not that she doesn’t want to see her father,” Razavi told the judge. “It’s that she’s afraid it might happen again.”
Poland’s attorney, Bob Campbell, said this was his client’s first felony case and stressed that the girl never saw Poland in the house.
Campbell asked for mercy because his client just became a father and has the opportunity to get a good job.
“He has a lot of incentive to get his life on track,” Campbell said.
Poland declined to say anything when offered the chance to speak before Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler sentenced him.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.