The Press Newspaper
A man charged with two counts of attempted burglary of the home owned by State Rep. Chris Redfern has entered an Alford plea to one count in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.
Under the plea agreement, Alexander Reitzel, 19, Catawba Island Township, withdrew his not guilty plea but doesn’t admit committing the offense.
He was indicted last December on two third degree felony counts of attempted burglary of the home owned by Rep. Redfern and his wife, Kimberly, in the 2800 block of N. Bluff Ridge Drive.
Visiting Judge Dale Crawford ordered Reitzel to serve a diversion program.
“He entered a plea of guilty but the judge hasn’t found him guilty yet; and he won’t find him guilty unless Reitzel violates his diversion,” said Joe Gerber, assistant county prosecutor.
Terms of the diversion, which will be in effect for up to three years, are set by the probation department, he said.
The Alford plea includes one fourth degree charge of attempted burglary with a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If Reitzel successfully completes the diversion program, the prosecutor’s office will recommend dismissing the charges and the court is obligated to accept the recommendation, according to the agreement.
Redfern, who is also the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, and his family were not home at the time of the alleged offense but security video shows Reitzel trying to open a door and looking in windows. Redfern was able to monitor the surveillance system remotely by computer and called authorities after watching Reitzel’s movements.
The home was for sale at the time.
According to court records, Reitzel’s attorney argued he has an obsessive compulsive disorder and wanted his parents to buy the home.
Records in the county auditor’s office indicate the Redfern’s sold the home April 14 for $835,000.