DEVEN BLYTHE, above, and Rodney Williams, below, were sentenced to at least seven years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to kidnapping charges in connection with a home invasion in rural Hancock County last year. (Photos by Randy Roberts)

Staff Writer

Two of the teenagers who broke into a Pleasant Township home and held the resident at gunpoint in December were sentenced Monday for kidnapping and receiving stolen property.

Deven L. Blythe, 19, of Findlay, was sentenced to four years in prison for kidnapping, along with three years for a firearms specification, for a total of seven years on that first-degree felony, plus 11 months in prison for receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony.

Rodney D. Williams Jr., 18, of Findlay, received the same punishments for the same charges, except that his 11 months for receiving stolen property will be served concurrently with the kidnapping term, while all of Blythe’s time is to be served consecutively.

Judge Reginald Routson heard both cases in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.

In both cases, the defendants pleaded guilty Monday and received the sentences that the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend. Charges of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, were dismissed for each.

Blythe and Williams, along with Hunter J. Kelbley, 18, of Upper Sandusky; Devin A. Kerr, 19, of Bowling Green; Alexandra J. Ayala, 18, of Dunkirk, were all indicted by a grand jury in January for kidnapping and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies; and receiving stolen property — a motor vehicle — a fourth-degree felony. The kidnapping and aggravated burglary charges all had handgun specifications.

The group held the victim at gunpoint and took her vehicle to leave. Williams brought the handgun, assistant prosecutor Lora Manon said in court Monday.

Blythe apologized to the victim, Phyllis Hall, and to his family, including his daughter.

“Deven, I did not like meeting you, not the way we did,” Hall told Blythe. She said he could have knocked on her door and asked for a piece of cake instead.

Hall said she now has difficulty sleeping at night. She encouraged him to “aim for goodness” and better himself in prison.

Williams apologized in a letter given to Hall, Manon said.

“It’s very disappointing to have to be here and see such a young man under these circumstances,” Hall said to Williams.

Williams had turned 18 only five days before the Dec. 18 break-in.

Hall told Williams, “You were an enabler. … When you do that, you need to choose the things that are right to enable. Choose the things that are good, that help other people, in the right way.”

She urged him to complete his education and make other changes, “because I think there’s potential there.”

Blythe and Williams both have 132 days of credit for jail time as of Monday, and will continue to receive credit until they are taken to prison.

Both have to make restitution of $1,721.

Ayala pleaded guilty last Wednesday to aggravated burglary with an amended specification and receiving stolen property.

The amended specification carries a mandatory one-year sentence, as opposed to the original three years, Manon said. The kidnapping charge will be dismissed at sentencing, which was set for June 26.

Ayala and Kelbley did not go inside Hall’s house, Manon said.

Kelbley was sentenced in March to a combination of concurrent and consecutive prison time totaling four years for aggravated burglary with a firearm specification, and receiving stolen property. Her firearms specification was also reduced to one year. The kidnapping charge was dismissed.

Kelbley also owes $1,721 for restitution.

Kerr is scheduled to plead and be sentenced on May 20.

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