Local teen to serve four for burglary, other charges

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City teen was charged as an adult and received a grown-up jail sentence in connection with a series of incidents in 2010.Homer Joe Knight, 17, was charged with burglary, theft and battery and pleaded guilty in Whitley Circuit Court.On Monday, Circuit Court Judge James Heuer sentenced Knight to a total of 10 years in jail for the offenses.Knight received six years for burglary, a Class C felony, in connection with a break-in of Star Tire & Automotive July 26, 2010.Heuer suspended two years of that sentence.Police say on July 5, Knight committed battery, a Class A misdemeanor, on an unidentified victim, causing bodily harm. The third charge of theft, a Class D felony, came from the theft of a four-wheeler Aug. 2.Heuer gave Knight three years for the theft and a year for the battery, both sentences to be served concurrently with the burglary sentence, bringing the total time Knight should serve to four years.Charges on all three counts were filed against Knight Oct. 4, 2010.Defense attorney Brad Baber argued that Knight had suffered from a rough home life and said he hoped this would be considered before sentencing.Whitley County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Rentschler said Knight was already on probation when he committed the recent crimes.“This was a serious violation of that business (Star Tire & Automotive),” said Rentschler. “He is deserving of an adult punishment.”Knight spoke with a monotone voice as he offered his remorse.“I’m sorry for what I did,” he said. “I wish I could take it back.”Heuer told Knight his previous criminal history would not go unacknowledged.“You were a very frequent visitor to juvenile court over the years,” Heuer said.According to Rentschler, Knight owes more than $21,000 in restitution.