PLYMOUTH, Ind. (WANE) – After pleading guilty in Marshall County court, a Fort Wayne man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a June 2013 burglary.
According to documents provided by the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office, 58-year-old Jeffrey Lusch was caught by the owner breaking in through the back door of a home on Baker Street in Plymouth on June 28, 2013. Lusch took off running, but was quickly caught thanks to a fast response by the Plymouth Police Department.
Lusch was caught with a set of skeleton keys on him and he later testified that a pair of black gloves police found were to prevent fingerprints at the scene. He also had $180 on him police said had been taken from the home.
Police discovered that Lusch had two previous burglary convictions: one in Wayne County, Indiana and one in Mercer County, Ohio. He was still on probation for the Ohio conviction at the time of the burglary.
The state argued that Lusch should be labeled a career criminal and therefore not eligible for probation or any lighter sentence. Lusch’s defense argued that he should get leniency due to his mental instability at the time, family support and the fact he has served as a trustee at the jail for over a year. Lusch claimed he had only ever committed three burglaries in his life – the three he had been caught for, according to the documents provided by the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office.
Lusch had been imprisoned at the Marshall County Jail for over a year when he pleaded guilty to the burglary charge. The state agreed at that time to dismiss an habitual offender enhancement request.
The 20 year sentence Lusch received was the maximum possible for the class B felony burglary charge. Four years of the sentence are suspended, making it 16 years in prison followed by four years of probation.