MEDINA — One of two Copley residents indicted in connection with the theft of more than $15,000 worth of materials from area libraries might be able to avoid jail time.
According to court documents, Medina County Common Pleas Judge Joyce Kimbler granted a motion to allow Ronald E. Delp, 25, to enter the “intervention in lieu of conviction” program.
The motion, which Kimbler conditionally granted earlier this month, is pending a final assessment by the county probation department.
According to the Medina County Adult Probation Department, the state statute allows for “the court to accept, before a guilty plea, a defendant’s request for program participation. If successful, the prosecution ends.”
The program can be used by a defendant to which alcohol or other drug usage contributed and has been expanded to include offenses such as theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, passing bad checks, misuse of credit cards, forgery and criminal nonsupport.”
If the assessment shows that Delp is eligible to be accepted into the program, he will be required to enter a guilty plea.
“However, a finding of guilty will not be made. Rather, the defendant will be put under the control of the probation department for a period not to exceed three years,” court documents said.
During the three-year probationary period, Delp would be required to complete all requirements of the program or he will be terminated from the program, a guilty verdict will be imposed and sanctions including jail time could be handed down by the court.
Delp is set to appear in Medina County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 28 for a “potential change of plea hearing.”
Delp and Brooke L. Sutton, 26, both of the 1500 block Moreview Drive, Copley, were each indicted Aug. 7 on one count of grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. Sutton was also indicted on one count of identity fraud, also a fourth-degree felony.
Thefts occurred earlier this year at libraries in Wadsworth, Medina, Doylestown, Rittman and Barberton.
“Their motive was to mainly take these DVDs and other items and take them to these places that will buy used DVDs so they would give them money in exchange for turning these in,” Wadsworth police Lt. Dave Dorland previously said.
The Wadsworth library reported the theft of 138 items valued at $5,130.68 on June 6. The books and DVDs were checked out of the library on April 11 and never returned.
There was no limit to the number of library items Wadsworth library patrons were allowed to check out at one time at the time of the theft. The library changed that policy in July, with patrons limited to 50 items at once, excluding video games, which are now limited to two per account.
Dorland said Detective Matt Markley, the lead investigator on the case, was able to uncover Delp and Sutton’s names at other area libraries with overdue material.
Police also received information from a relative of Sutton’s that they had received a notice that they had an outstanding library balance, Dorland said.