Lower Salem man gets jail time for break-in

A Lower Salem man who helped his older cousin steal scrap metal was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to 90 days in jail.

Derek J. Waterman, 20, of 50 Warner Second St., was sentenced on a fifth-degree felony count of breaking and entering to which he pleaded guilty April 28.

Waterman was drawn into stealing scrap by his older cousin, said Waterman’s attorney Joe Brockwell in asking for a lenient sentence.

“He was helping his cousin do some junking. His cousin is some years older,” said Brockwell.

The two men had used a hacksaw to cut their way onto a Salem Township property in September. They stole thousands of dollars worth of scrap items, which they later tried to sell in Guernsey County.

While Waterman immediately owned up to the theft, his cousin-25-year-old Steven L. O’Brien, of 343 Main. St., Lower Salem-took no responsibility for the crime and evaded the warrant issued after his February indictment until recently, said Brockwell.

Brockwell cited Waterman’s employment with Mark O’Brien’s tree service as a reason he should be granted an intermittent sentence.

“They’d like to keep him there,” he said.

Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider requested a 30-day jail sentence and three years of community control for Waterman.

Washington County Common Pleas County Judge Ed Lane pointed to Waterman’s prior juvenile and adult convictions as factors that made him more likely to recidivate.

As a juvenile, Waterman was habitually truant and was convicted of vandalism and OVI. As an adult, he has two misdemeanor theft convictions out of Noble County, said Lane.

“I’m not going to consider intermittent sentencing,” Lane told Brockwell, citing problems with defendants appearing for jail in the past.

Lane sentenced Waterman instead to 90 days in jail and five years of community control.

Though a report showed Waterman had no jail credit, that was inaccurate, said Schneider. The defendant spent Oct. 2-21 in the Washington County Jail on the charge.

Lane also order Waterman to pay the victim $2,399 in restitution. O’Brien will be jointly liable for the payment, he said.

Finally, Lane ordered Waterman to attend the court’s cognitive behavioral program, “Thinking For A Change” and ordered him to attend any recommended counseling sessions at L&P Services upon his release from jail.