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Rood pleads guilty in Jefferson County crime spree case, has sentence reduced

Updated: Thursday, June 5 2014, 05:42 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio -- What started with a trial and jury selection ended with a plea agreement Thursday in a case of one of the two men involved in a crime spree across Jefferson County.
After 2-and-a-half hours of testimony from a number of witnesses, Shawn Rood suddenly decided to forego the rest of his trial and plead guilty to all counts listed against him in exchange for a reduced sentence. This came a little more than a month after his co-defendant, Dustin Phelps, pled guilty.
"We had confessions; we had physical evidence,” Assistant Prosecutor Edward L. Littlejohn said. “We had shoe impressions; we had testimony of his co-defendant coming up. And I think he realized that it probably was in his best interest.”
The list of crimes that investigators linked to Rood and Phelps is lengthy. Rood could have faced a total of 9-and-a-half years in jail if convicted by a jury on all counts.
“He went on a crime spree, committed a series of breaking and enterings, caused damage and destroyed some property of local businesses,” Littlejohn said.
Rood now faces a total of 5 years after a change of heart that came during a break in the trial. Phelps agreed to 2 years in jail in a plea in April.
“This has been a resolution that has been negotiated and we believe it is fair to my client,” Defense Attorney David Vukelic said.
The circumstances were stricter than the initial plea offered to Rood before the trial began, but ultimately will save him from 4 years behind bars.
“Hopefully this is something he will learn from and hopefully upon his release he will be a better person,” Vukelic said.
In addition to the five years, Rood must pay $2,500 in restitution. He also has a lifetime weapon and firearm restriction that was placed on him.

Rood pleads guilty in Jefferson County crime spree case, has sentence reduced


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