Man sentenced to 8 years after burglary, chase

A convicted felon who led police on a chase last fall after being caught burglarizing a home has been sentenced in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

Keith M. Cherry, 28, of 446 Della Road was sentenced to eight years with the Indiana Department of Correction on Thursday by Judge Kelly Benjamin. She also ordered the defendant to make $2,818 in restitution.

As part of a plea agreement, the Jewell Village resident pleaded guilty May 15 to two counts: burglary as a Level 4 felony and resisting law enforcement as a Level 6 felony.

The agreement, dated April 21, calls for the two sentences to be served concurrently.

However, the judge ordered that the term be served consecutively to a separate 18-month sentence Cherry received for theft in Johnson County.

Thursday’s sentencing was in connection with an early afternoon burglary that took place Oct. 26 at a residenceĀ along County Road 700N, northeast of the Armuth Acres subdivision.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department received a call from animal control officer Mark Case, who said he was watching a vehicle backed up to the home, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

While Case said he knew who lived in the house, he told dispatchers he did not recognize the man and woman who were removing items and placing them in their vehicle, the affidavit said.

After the animal control officer provided a description of the suspect’s car, deputies located the moving vehicle near Shady Lane and U.S. 31, Sheriff Matt Myers said.

Following a chase through Lowell Addition and Princeton Park, the occupants of the car drove into a muddy field and abandoned their vehicle, Myers said. With the assistance of a police dog, they were tracked to a location along Paula Drive where they were apprehended.

When officers searched the car, they foundĀ $430 in cash, a television, two long guns, laptop computers and other electronics that were later confirmed to have been taken during the burglary, the affidavit said.

The female suspect, identified as Ashley N. Spachtholz, 29, of 1621 Union St., was charged with burglary as a Level 4 felony. She is scheduled to appear before Benjamin for a July 10 change-of-plea hearing, with a trial date tentatively set for Aug. 8.

The plea agreement, signed by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kathleen Burns, calls for all other cases in Bartholomew Circuit Court against Cherry to be dismissed.

That includes two separate felony cases of thefts filed last year in February and June.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.