Lomon was sentenced in Butler County District Court Monday morning

James Scott Lomon received a sentence of 25 months with the Secretary of Corrections for charges relating to two incidents of theft, interference with law enforcement and harming a police dog.

Lomon was sentenced in Butler County District Court Monday morning by Judge David Ricke.

On Feb. 3, the court had received a plea deal with Lomon where he pleaded no contest to two different cases.

Prior to the sentencing defense attorney Chris Pate had filed a motion for downward dispositional departure in each of the cases.

Pate said if was not for special rules relating to the fact Lomon was on probation at the time he committed these crimes and that it was a felony theft with three prior felony thefts, Lomon would be in a presumed probation box on the sentencing grid.

Pate said there were several reasons to consider downward departure.

“The first of which is the degree of harm or loss at tributed to the crimes in less than a typical offense,” he said. “The vast majority of items Mr. Lomon stole were recovered by law enforcement and given back to their owners. As far as I can tell, the victims in those cases have been made whole again and didn’t suffer any lasting loss of property other than the copper wire.”

He also said as for the police dog, he did not suffer any kind of lasting injury.

He also pointed out Lomon accepted responsibility by entering pleas and did not request a preliminary hearing, saving the state and court resources.

Pate went on to say Lomon did not gain from the first theft charge and was not the primary person responsible for the crime.

His other reason was that substance abuse was an underlying factor and said a substance abuse program would do Lomon more good than prison.

In Lomon’s criminal history, he has numerous convictions for substance abuse, most significantly two cases involving meth.

Pate said Lomon has looked into some potential resources on his own for substance abuse treatment.

“I know he is remorseful for his actions in this case,” Pate said. “He would ask he be given one more opportunity to do the right thing.”

Butler County Assistant County Attorney Amber Norris did agree there was not any reason the charges and the two cases could not run concurrent.

She said it did appear he was on supervision on cases in Harvey County and Woodson County at the time of the offenses.

She also said she would not agree to departure based on Lomon’s significant criminal history and the fact he was on supervision when these crimes were committed.

“The reasons listed, from the state’s position, are not substantial nor are they compelling,” she said.

She said the fact it was less than typical was not significant.

“It doesn’t diminish their safety and their property,” she said of the victims. “Whether they get their property back or not, their privacy and sense of security has still been violated. He did that to both an individual and a business.”

She also said having a drug problem is not a reason to go out and steal.

She said they recommend the mid-range sentence of 27 months.

When asked if he wanted to address the court, Lomon said, “I would just like to apologize. I’m 40 years old and I’m embarrassed to be dealing with this type of issue still. I do have a substance abuse problem. My family is tired of me being in orange and my family is having to deal with my kids now.”

Ricke then went on to sentence Lomon based on the state’s recommended plea deal.

Lomon was sentenced to 25 months with the Secretary of Corrections for the non-residential burglary in the first case; 12 months in prison for the non-residential burglary in the second case; six months in prison for interference with law enforcement; 120 days in Butler County Jail for harming or killing certain dogs, which he had already served awaiting his sentencing; and 12 months in prison for theft. The controlling sentence will be the 25 months. Lomon also will have a $500 fine in the charges involving the dog and will have to pay $100 in each of the two cases for the docket fees.

The charges and cases will all run concurrently but they will run consecutively with the Harvey and Woodson county cases.

Ricke did not accept the departure motion saying there were special rules with him being on probation and the felony theft being committed with him already having three or more prior felony thefts or burglaries.

Ricke said with Lomon’s previous theft and property crime cases he should have been well aware of the consequences of his actions.

“The court has given Mr. Lomon, in essence, the minimum sentence in these cases,” Ricke said.

He also recognized the emotion with which Lomon had addressed the court and encouraged him to take full advantage of the maximum good time credit to get back to his children soon. Ricke also urged Lomon to follow the law when he gets out.

“I hope that you do eventually make it,” Ricke told him.

Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.