July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Teen to be tried as adult

ELYRIA — An Elyria teen accused of breaking into the home of Lorain County Family Court Judge David Basinski in February has been indicted as an adult.

William Brown-Nettles, who turned 18 in May, is charged with aggravated burglary, robbery, theft and misdemeanor assault. He was 17 at the time of the break-in.

Brown-Nettles is one of three teens who are accused of pushing past the judge’s wife, Ellen Basinski, to get into the couple’s Columbus Street home in Elyria.

Patrick Kostal, 18, and a 16-year-old, who is being tried in Juvenile Court, were the other two teens accused of forcing their way into the Basinskis’ home.

Ellen Basinski has said she was on the phone with the judge at the time of the break-in and one of the robbers took the phone from her and hung it up.

As the judge and his bailiff raced to the house, the robbers began to rummage through the house, including Ellen Basinski’s purse. She grabbed an Emeril Lagasse saucepan and began swinging it at one of the robbers.

Kostal then allegedly threw a bottle of the judge’s Jack Daniels whiskey at her, leaving a bruise on her left foot, before the trio fled. They were arrested a short time later.

A fourth teen, a 15-year-old, was outside, and police have said he served as a lookout. But the 15-year-old’s attorney, Kenneth Lieux, said Thursday that his client wasn’t involved in the robbery.

When the others said they planned to “hit a lick” — street slang for a robbery — he said he wasn’t interested, Lieux said.

Lieux said his client walked away when the other three walked up the driveway of the Basinski home.

The 15-year-old was supposed to go on trial Thursday, but Lieux said prosecutors have agreed to review his story to see if he is telling the truth.

Ellen Basinski drew national media attention for fending off her attackers with her pan and Lagasse promised her a new set of cookware while she was doing a call-in interview on “Good Morning America.” Her original cooking pot remains a piece of evidence in the case.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.