Accomplices had received lighter sentences after pleading guilty to misdemeanors
A Port Clinton man was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison for his role in an assault and break-in at a Catawba Island home in December.
William "Pete" Pinkelton III, 22, 900 block of E. Second St., was convicted in August of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and felonious assault, all felonies.
Pinkelton, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, remained silent and showed little emotion while Visiting Judge Ronald Bowman read off his sentence in the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.
One woman wept and immediately left the courtroom upon hearing Pinkelton's sentence.
When he was asked to address the court, Pinkelton said he was sorry.
"I would like to apologize to all my family members that were affected by my decision," Pinkelton said. "If I could take back what happened that night, I would."
Pinkelton, along with two other men, broke into Sean Moir's home on Muggy Road in Catawba Island. They allegedly beat and kicked Moir, leaving him with broken teeth and bruises all over his body, court records show.
Moir addressed the court via a letter sent to the Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office, in which he says he is in a lot of pain and suffering the effects of four broken teeth.
"I ask myself, 'Why did this happen? What did I do to Mr. Pinkelton?'" Moir said. "Why does someone do this to anyone? Not having that answer to this question bothers me every day."
Pinkelton's attorney, Tom Stoll, of Norwalk, said Pinkelton should get a lighter sentence because the two co-defendants, Elisha Cannon and Tarrence Hood, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Lorrain Croy argued that "proportionality" of sentencing does not apply since Pinkelton was given the opportunity, like Cannon and Hood, to enter into a plea agreement.
"The defendant blames others," Croy said. "If he wouldn't have gotten involved this would not have happened. We are pleased with Pinkelton's sentencing and think justice was served."
Pinkelton hugged his mother and father, but remained calm after he was led away in handcuffs.
"It's blind justice," said Pinkelton's grandmother, Gail Smith. "They needed a fall guy and they fell on my grandson."
Pinkelton was ordered to pay restitution to Moir and will serve five years of probation after completing his sentence.