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Local roundup: Oct. 12, 2007


Man pleads guilty to assault on teen

ELYRIA — A LaGrange man involved in a fight that led to a 15-year-old being stabbed has pleaded guilty to aggravated riot and assault charges.

Kyle Kocher, 21, could get up to 18 months in prison when he is sentenced later this year.

Kocher punched a 17-year-old with a set of brass knuckles in the February brawl, according to police.

Kocher, Jason DeWitt and Jacob Cammel were arrested a few hours after the fight, which broke out at Midway Mall following a confrontation between the three men and three teenage boys. The group had agreed to resolve their dispute with a brawl.

During the fight DeWitt, who has yet to go to trial in the case on the felonious assault and riot charges he faces, allegedly stabbed Dalton Estep with a pocket knife.

Cammel pleaded guilty to his role in the fight in Elyria Municipal Court and was sentenced to 10 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Robbery suspects plead not guilty

ELYRIA — Two Lorain men charged in connection with a Lorain apartment invasion and sexual assault in July pleaded not guilty to rape and other charges at their arraignment Thursday.

George Houle and Kenneth Sturgill, both 26, allegedly forced their way into an East Erie Avenue apartment, beat a 21-year-old man and then sexually assaulted his 21-year-old wife with a flashlight.

The men were armed with a gun and wore bandannas over their faces, according to police. The men made off with electronics, money and jewelry but left the couple’s two young children, who were sleeping at the time, alone.

Houle and Sturgill are also charged with felonious assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.  

Police: Suspects tried to seize slide

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Deputies thought there was something amiss with the story three Lorain residents tried to tell them just before 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Bobby Curry, 69, Jessica Velasquez, 29, and Vicky Merritt, 40, all of whom were charged with felony counts of theft and breaking and entering, told deputies that they were picking up a playground slide from the Cathedral of Praise on Elyria Avenue that had been donated to a friend, according to a sheriff’s report.

Curry, deputies said, was placing the slide in the rear of a Dodge Caravan, and Velasquez said they were taking it to a man they only could identify as John, saying the church had given it to him. Only the Rev. Melvin Brown said the church didn’t donate the slide — worth about $500 — to anyone, and that other items recently had been stolen from the church grounds, deputies said.

All three were taken to the county jail, where Curry also had a charge of possession of criminal tools filed against him.

Muddy Mercedes found at pond bottom

CAMDEN TWP. —A convertible Mercedes Benz 280SL was discovered by work crews draining a retention pond about 8:15 p.m. Monday at Green Circle Growers on U.S. Route 20, according to a sheriff’s report.

The interior of the vehicle was filled about halfway with mud, and another 5 inches of sediment had settled on the hood. There was nothing inside, the report said.

The license plates were deteriorated and deputies could not determine how old they were, according to the report. The vehicle’s identification number was being traced.

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