May 9-LIMA - A Hardin County woman who evaded law enforcement authorities for more than six months following her arrest as an accomplice in two home burglaries in eastern Allen County was sentenced Monday to two years behind bars.
Jennifer Woodruff, 38, of Kenton, was indicted - along with her husband, Larry, and Kenton resident Matthew Beltz - on two counts of burglary and one count of grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance in connection with break-ins at residences on Faulkner Road and Harrod Road in eastern Allen County in March 2021.
Woodruff was released on bond following her arraignment but in August failed to appear for urinalysis testing and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. She was taken into custody on March 25 of this year.
She pleaded guilty in late March to a second-degree felony count of burglary and an amended third-degree burglary charge.
Beltz took his case to trial but before the second day of testimony, prosecutors offered him the opportunity to plead guilty to a Bill of Information charging him with two counts of attempted receiving stolen property, felonies of the fifth degree, as well as a second-degree felony count of escape. The escape charge stemmed from Beltz's failure to return to jail after a medical furlough.
The deal came after jurors were erroneously shown photos of a home that was alleged to be that of one of the victims in the burglary case. The homeowner testified at trial that the photos were not of her residence.
Beltz was sentenced to five years in prison.
Larry Woodruff testified at Beltz's trial and said he entered a home on Harrod Road on March 15, 2021, and removed tools, several guns and a pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes, among other items. Woodruff admitted to standing outside the residence and taking the items to a waiting car, driven by his wife. Several of those items were later discovered when Hardin County authorities obtained a search warrant and entered Beltz's apartment in Kenton.
He was sentenced in March to 4 1/2 years in prison for his role in the burglaries.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.