Updated: November 27, 2012 11:34PM
Man stole to pay for girlfriend’s ring
The tools a Merrillville man was caught stealing from a house under renovation were to go to help pay for a ring for the man’s girlfriend, he told police.
However, Matthew Espy Brooks, 25, now faces up three years in prison after pleading guilty in Porter County Superior Court Tuesday to Class D felony theft for the March 13 incident, which is a reduction from the Class B felony burglary charge and up to 20 years he faced.
Police were alerted to the burglary at the Porter house by a neighbor about 8:20 p.m., and they found about $2,000 in a vehicle where Brooks’s girlfriend was sleeping from what she said was too much drinking.
Brooks is scheduled for a Feb. 12 sentencing, where the length of his incarceration will be argued.
Teen admits taking silver coins
A Hebron man who admitted to breaking into a Porter County home and stealing four cigar boxes of silver coins in a total of 48 rolls will not likely serve more than 30 days incarcerated.
Spencer Lee Hartman, 19, pleaded guilty to Class D felony theft Tuesday, and if Porter County Circuit Judge Mary Harper accepts his plea at a Feb. 19 sentencing, he’ll serve 30 days in Porter County Jail, 30 days of community service and 22 months on probation.
Hartman originally faced up to 20 years for Class B felony burglary for the September 2011 crime, and police caught him after his partner sold some of the coins at a pawn shop.
Hartman spent some of the coins and led police to where he hid the rest.
Six years for selling cocaine to agents
A Gary man received a six-year sentence Tuesday for selling cocaine to undercover agents.
Eric Lamont Hopson Jr., 52, had pleaded guilty in Porter County Superior Court to Class B felony dealing in cocaine on Oct. 16, and as part of the plea, a habitual offender sentence enhancement was dropped for the July 2011 crime.
Hopson sold 1.59 grams to a Porter County Drug Task Force informant for $200, making the exchange on a bench outside Al’s Supermarket on U.S. 6 in Porter County.