April 16, 2014

Elyria
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3-city chase ends in jail for 10 years

ELYRIA — A Vermilion man who led police on a high-speed chase through three cities in April was sentenced Monday to a decade in prison.

Charged with a long list of felonies and facing the possibility of more than 35 years in prison if tried and convicted on all counts, Justin T. McFadden, 20, accepted a plea deal of 10 years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to 19 felonies.

BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE
Justin McFadden, 20, smiles at a friend in the courtroom.

County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark A. Betleski made a point of telling McFadden just prior to sentencing that although he was going to abide by the agreed-upon sentence, the judge would have given him more time.

McFadden will be eligible for parole after serving five years, defense attorney David Nehr said.

“Ten years is better than 60 or 70 years,” he said. “He will be about 30 when he gets out, and that’s still young enough for him to do something with his life.”

McFadden had nothing to say before being sentenced. He was jittery as he stood before Betleski, bouncing his legs nervously. Nehr assured the judge McFadden was ready to accept responsibility for his actions.

Those actions started early April 17, when an alarm sent sheriff’s deputies to a home in Carlisle Township that McFadden was burglarizing. When a deputy arrived, he confronted McFadden, but McFadden broke free from the deputy’s grasp and ran to a nearby gas station. There, McFadden stole a minivan and led a car chase that tore through three cities before ending in Westlake with a violent crash into a delivery truck.

McFadden was injured in the crash and was taken to a Cleveland hospital. McFadden was released from the hospital without police notification and was on the run for a week before finally being arrested by police at a home in Lorain.

McFadden pleaded guilty to seven counts of burglary, three counts of theft, two counts of failure to comply and one count each of breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools, receiving stolen property, robbery, resisting arrest, obstruction of official business and felonious assault.

Three counts related to the felonious assault of a police officer were dismissed as a part of the plea agreement.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or    lroberson@chroniclet.com.