Third Martins Ferry Break-In Defendant Sentenced in Belmont County

The last of three men who participated in a home invasion attempt in Martins Ferry that ended in gunfire will spend the next seven years behind bars for burglary, a felony of the second degree occurring March 28, 2016.

Derion Becker, 23, of 57262 Glenns Run Road, Martins Ferry, heard his sentence Monday before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge John Vavra. He was given 441 days of credit on his sentence of seven years. Becker was the only participant wounded in the course of the crime. His co-defendants, Chance Leonard and Stefon Lewis Ray, have been sentenced to eight years each.

According to law enforcement, the Columbus Avenue resident reportedly grabbed a shotgun held by Ray during the home invasion and shoved it aside. Reports indicate that the gun fired at that time, wounding Becker in the face. He was flown to Pittsburgh for medical treatment.

Defense attorney Donald J. Tennant Jr. asked Vavra to consider the lifelong medical repercussions Becker will experience. Defense added that while two of the three co-defendants were armed, Becker did not have a weapon and did not know until late in the process of going to the house that guns would be present, although he still decided to go through with the crime.

“He made the mistake of judgment of going forward with this action. He went in the house, and as the court knows well, he was the only one that was injured in this event.”

Since he was shot in the jaw, Becker has undergone surgeries where bone matter from his lower leg was used to rebuild his jawbone. Becker expressed remorse.

“I know what I did was wrong,” he said. “I’m going to look in the mirror every day and realize, 15 seconds was all it took to affect the course of my life forever. I’m always going to remember that it was just a simple 15 seconds that changed everything for me.”

Vavra took a grim view of the crime, pointing out that the results could have been much worse.

“This was all part of an organized criminal plan,” Vavra said. “After reviewing your entire record I have only one conclusion: you’re not a very good criminal. You break into a guy’s house to commit this crime, you get your face blown off.”

Vavra also wondered at the cost to the taxpayers for the medical care Becker received.

Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said the sentence was well-deserved.

“The fact that the defendant got shot trying to commit his crime means nothing,” Fry said. “He deserves the prison sentence that he got. … Home invasion cases are not merely property crimes. They are crimes against innocent victims. They leave people scared simply to be in their own homes.”

In an unrelated case, Jasmine Ann Anderson, 44, of 14 Elm St., Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of weapons under disability, a felony of the fourth degree occurring Oct. 15. Her sentence was set for Dec. 11. A pre-sentence investigation and Eastern Ohio Correction Center evaluation were ordered.