SIDNEY – A Piqua woman who was an accomplice in a 2015 home invasion and assault of a retired Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been ordered to prison on a series of probation violations committed in February.
On Thursday, Mercedes Leann Paul, 22, 1360 W. High St., Piqua, was sentenced to three years at the Marysville Reformatory of Women of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) by Shelby County Common Pleas Court Judge James Stevenson.
Paul was on probation on a charge of complicity to burglary, a third-degree felony. The conviction stemmed from her involvement in the Oct. 5, 2015, break-in at the home of retired deputy Isaac Bollinger in Plattsville. She was originally charged with complicity to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
On March 11, 2016, Paul pleaded guilty to the amended charge in exchange for offering testimony against her co-defendants. She was placed on five years of community control, ordered to complete drug and alcohol counseling, instructed to pay her portion of $1,415 in restitution to Bollinger, fined $200, and assessed court costs.
According to court records, Paul’s violations indicate she was in communication with other convicted felons, visited a tavern, consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana, and failed to observe curfew requirements.
Paul admits her part in the crime
On Oct. 8, 2015, she admitted to Shelby County Sheriff’s investigators to be the driver in taking four others to the Bollinger residence. Three males forcibly entered the Bollinger residence assaulting him and breaking into a safe seeking cash. They reportedly told Bollinger his grandson owed him $100 and that’s what they wanted.
According to a sheriff’s report, deputies were dispatched to the residence that evening at 10:30 p.m. on a report of a burglary and assault. Residents said the assailants had fled in a vehicle.
Bollinger was found bleeding heavily from several places on his head. He said three men knocked on his door. He answered the knock and the men forced their way in. Bollinger pushed one of the men out and another one struck him in the face. As Bollinger was trying to fend them off, he grabbed a chair in his living room to strike them with. At that time, one of the men pulled a gun.
A woman staying with the Bollingers, Brittany Huston, said one of the men grabbed her by the back of her neck as she was attempting to turn a room light on. Another one of the men forced her to the ground and told her to keep her face down in the carpet. Huston told deputies that her boyfriend, Kyle Ellis, is incarcerated in the county jail. She said the men said they were there to get $100 that he owed them for heroin. Huston said the men took a television and Ellis’ class ring from the room.
Deputies said the men pried the door off one of two safes in the home. Another safe was dragged into a hallway, but apparently was not opened.
Bollinger was transported to Wilson Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The three men, John Lee Irvin Jr. of Sidney, Eion Dangerfield of Piqua, and William G. Copeland III of Sidney are currently serving multiyear prison sentences related to the break-in.
Brittany Nicole Morris of Troy was a passenger in the car and arrested with Paul. She was convicted on an amended charge of complicity to burglary, a third-degree felony.
On Dec. 19. 2017, Morris was jailed on a probation violation. She was ordered to enter the Western Ohio Regional Treatment and Habilitation Center counseling facility in Lima.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.