Copeland sentenced to 4 years for home-invasion, assault

By Alexandra Newman - [email protected]

SIDNEY — One of the persons involved in the home invasion and assault of a retired sheriff’s deputy was sentenced in Shelby County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

William G. Copeland III, 18, of Sidney, had originally been charged with one count of aggravated burglary, with a firearms specification, a felony of the first-degree, and one count of felonious assault, a felony of the second degree. He originally plead not-guilty then entered a guilty plea in December on the terms that the felonious assault count be dropped, along with the firearms specification.

He was sentenced to serve four years in prison and pay $1,415.59 in restitution. He will also have to complete a mandatory five years community control upon release from prison.

Copeland and his co-defendants, John Lee Irvin Jr., 24, of Sidney, Eion Dangerfield, 24, of Piqua, Brittany Nicole Morris, 18, of Troy, and Mercedes Leann Paul, 20, of Piqua, were charged after they allegedly broke into the home of retired deputy Isaac Bollinger, 75, in Plattsville back in October. They said Bollinger’s grandson owed them $100.

According to a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office report, deputies were dispatched to the residence on a report of a burglary and assault and found Bollinger 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. 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.

Morris and Paul were charged with complicity to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony. While Irvin and Dangerfield were charged with the same charges as Copeland.

In court Thursday, Copeland apologized to the family and said that he was under the influence of drugs and has sobered up in jail and has had time to think about his actions.

Shelby County Prosecutor Tim Sell told the court that this was an act of unnecessary, crazy, stupid violence.

Judge James Stevenson took into consideration of his virtually no previous record, but said that the drugs were no excuse. Stevenson also mentioned that law enforcement said Copland was very cooperative with the investigation and it was believed that he wouldn’t have committed the crime if it hadn’t been for his friends convincing him to participate. Therefore the judge said he was giving him a break with only sentencing him to four years instead of the suggested seven years.

Dangerfield and Paul are scheduled to be sentenced March 10, Irvin is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2, and Morris is still working her way through the court process.

By Alexandra Newman

[email protected]

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN