MIAMI COUNTY — Noting his mental health at the time “was clearly a factor,” Miami County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee sentenced Dustin Connor, 29, of Piqua, to serve two years of community control for burglary and vandalism of two churches and two homes as well as an assault of a corrections officer on Monday.
Connor pleaded guilty to third-degree felony burglary, fifth-degree vandalism, fourth-degree burglary with trespassing and fifth-degree felonious assault. Connor assaulted a corrections officer when he was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail.
Connor vandalized and stole a computer from Snyder Road Church of God, and was charged with breaking into Victory Baptist Church and burglarizing two homes before he was arrested by Piqua Police on Aug. 2.
Judge Gee ordered Connor to pay $500 restitution to the Snyder Road Church of God for their insurance deductible. Other victims, including the Victory Baptist Church in Piqua, did not seek restitution.
Gee noted Connor’s genuine remorse and that his conduct was obviously attributed to his mental health break.
The court reserved up to 6 1/2 years of prison if Connor fails to comply with his community control sanctions including mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
Prior to sentencing, Connor’s public defender Jack Hemm said Connor “had a mental health snap” and is currently in counseling. Hemm said Connor is working six days a week and is truly remorseful for his actions.
Connor apologized for his actions calling it was a “bad mistake” before he became too emotional to speak. Connor later said the churches were “nice enough to forgive me” and that he needed help “to clean up my mess.”
Miami County assistant prosecutor Janna Parker said Connor’s case “was challenging” due to the lack of a prior criminal record and that his actions were out of character. Parker said a prison sentence would have been appropriate, but if the court chose community control she requested Connor receive extensive mental health and substance abuse treatment.