A Columbus man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection with the January burglary of a Powell home and the March assault of the resident of the same home.
Eric L. Smith, 33, was one of three people involved in the assault. Smith and his partners, Dennis Waddell, 37, and Tammy L. Wright, 44, both of Columbus, have all been sentenced in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Waddell and Wright both accepted plea deals but Smith took his case to trial and was found guilty by a jury.
Smith entered a not guilty plea and was tried in Delaware County Common Pleas Court in late July. He was found guilty by a jury — after a three-day trial — on charges of aggravated burglary, kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, having a weapon while under disability and felonious assault.
Smith appeared in court Monday afternoon where he was sentenced to 40 years in prison on the charges.
Judge David Gormley sentenced Smith to eight years on a count of aggravated burglary, with an additional three years for a firearm specification; five years in prison on a kidnapping charge, with an additional three years for a firearm specification; nine years on a count of aggravated robbery, with an additional three years for a firearm specification; six years for felonious assault, with an additional three years for a firearm specification. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
Gormley also sentenced Smith to three years in prison on a count of aggravated robbery and to a year in prison for each of two counts of possession of a weapon under disability, but stipulated the sentences would be served concurrently with the other charges.
Smith was in the Delaware County Jail Monday awaiting a transport to prison. He was credited for 52 days he spent in jail.
Waddell was sentenced to 14 years in prison — for aggravated robbery and having a weapon while on parole — Sept. 1 by Gormley. Gormley said a firearm specification on the aggravated robbery charge added three years to the sentence.
Last Jan. 4, Waddell and Smith entered a home at 4256 Landhigh Lakes Drive in Powell, belonging to David McCourt, 60, and stole several items, including firearms, marijuana and gold jewelry, according to court documents. Some of stolen items were given to Wayne Kelso, 32, of Columbus, who sold them.
Police reports indicate that the stolen items were worth $32,000.
Police said McCourt and the burglars had a common acquaintance who tipped them off that McCourt would be a high-value target.
Then, on March 27, Powell police said McCourt was walking his dog in his driveway at 4256 Landhigh Lakes when he was attacked by two masked people with a gun about 1 a.m. Police said McCourt was able to get away from his attackers and called 911. The suspects fled and were picked up by a third person in a car.
Delaware County sheriff’s deputies, along with Powell police, conducted a traffic stop near the residence and found Smith, Waddell and Wright in a car matching a description given by McCourt. Police recovered a stolen gun and took the trio into custody.
Wright also pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery and a charge of felonious assault but changed her plea on May 18 to guilty on a count of robbery, a lesser included offense. On June 24, Wright was sentenced to three years of community control for robbery, a fourth-degree felony, and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Kelso was also charged and initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of receiving stolen property. However, he changed his plea to guilty on May 18. On June 23, Kelso was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG