Burglary trio changes pleas to guilty


Three Columbus residents accused of several burglaries in Delaware County — who were caught in the act by police — have changed their court pleas to guilty and will be sentenced in October.

Joshua E. Devoe, 28, Beau K. Lutz, 26, and Kristin N. Clifford, 24 all appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Friday where they withdrew their pleas of not guilty and entered pleas of guilty.

Devoe was in court Friday afternoon and entered a guilty plea to two counts of burglary, which are second-degree felonies, and in exchange prosecutors dropped two counts of theft.

Lutz and Clifford also appeared in court Friday afternoon and each entered a guilty plea to a count of theft, a fifth-degree felony, and a count of burglary, a third-degree felony.

Visiting Judge Roger B. Wilson presided over the hearings and scheduled the trio to be sentenced in October.

Clifford will be sentenced on Oct. 12 at 8:30 a.m.; Lutz will be sentenced on Oct. 12 at 10:30 a.m.; and Devoe will be sentenced on Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m.

The trio had originally been scheduled to stand trial Tuesday.

Prosecutors said during Devoe’s July 20 arraignment that deputies from the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office were tracking the trio on June 24 as they drove onto several driveways in the area of 3 Bs & K Road in Berkshire Township. Assistant Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said deputies visited the homes after the trio left and found signs of forced entry and missing items.

The trio was then pulled over by deputies. Devoe attempted to flee on foot before seeing police dogs and surrendering to officers.

They were taken into custody and charged with burglary and theft.

Sleeper also told Wilson that Devoe has faced felony charges for theft, breaking and entering and receiving stolen property before and has served prison time for some of those offenses.

All three are currently being held in the Delaware County Jail.

Sleeper said the items stolen on June 24 were recovered by authorities.

Prosecutors said in court that they are still unsure how many burglaries were pulled off by the trio before their arrests.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/09/web1_Clifford.jpgClifford Courtesy photos | Delawaware County Jail

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/09/web1_Devoe.jpgDevoe Courtesy photos | Delawaware County Jail

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2015/09/web1_Lutz.jpgLutz Courtesy photos | Delawaware County Jail

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG

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