Lima man pleads guilty to burglary

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Sep. 6—LIMA — A Lima man will be forced to remain in his own home after pleading guilty to burglary for trespassing into a woman’s West Vine Street home on Aug. 5, 2021, a felony of the third degree.

Raimiel Laws, 19, entered into a negotiated plea deal after prosecutors dismissed a first-degree felony charge of rape and amended the burglary charge from a first-degree felony. He will be placed on house arrest on bond and will only be allowed to attend meetings with his public defender, go to work after providing his schedule, weekly drug testing and court appearances.

Allen County Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser said the reduction of the aggravated burglary charge and the dismissal of the rape charge was “warranted.” Laws must return to court for sentencing at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 20 after a pre-sentencing investigation.

Laws could face up to a $10,000 fine, community control or nine to 36 months in prison. He will lose his right to own or use a firearm due to his felony conviction.

Allen County Public Defender Steve Chamberlain said Laws withdrew his not guilty plea after negotiations with the state.

“I just wanted to get it over with, ma’am,” Laws told Kohlrieser.

Laws will wear a GPS ankle monitor and will not pay to be let out on bond; under an own-recognizance bond he will sign a statement promising to show at court appearances and to comply with court orders.

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Kohlrieser said Laws tested positive for marijuana and alcohol in January — a violation of his bond — and recently failed to report to two consecutive drug tests.

Laws said he did not go to the tests because he had COVID-19. He was subsequently placed into custody pending his pre-trial hearing.

“You already got two strikes; don’t get a third one,” Kohlrieser told him after ordering his release from custody on house arrest.

Kohlrieser said Laws must contact his public defender if for any reason he is unable to go to a required drug test in the future.

A grand jury previously indicted Laws on Sept. 19, 2021 on aggravated burglary and rape charges after trespassing into a woman’s residence and engaging in “sexual conduct” with her, knowing she was unable to consent due to a mental or physical condition or “advanced age,” according to the indictment. Both charges could have resulted in prison time.

Reach Jessica Orozco at 567-242-0398 or on Twitter @JessicaCOrozco.

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