Repeat Offender Gets Six Years In Prison

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An Athens man convicted numerous times of burglary was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison after his latest crime.

Mark Barnhart, Sr., 51, appeared in Athens County Common Pleas Court Tuesday and was sentenced on a second-degree felony charge of burglary to five years in prison. He was also found to have violated his post release control, which he still had 19 months left to serve. He must now serve those 19 months in prison as well.

Barnhart was accused of walking into a neighbor's home in April 2013 and stealing DVDs while the residents were home, according to a news release by Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

Despite striking a plea deal, no agreement could be made on a sentencing recommendation. The prosecution had argued for a full six-year stint in prison on the burglary charge but Judge L. Alan Goldsberry issued the five-year sentence instead with the imposed post release control to prison time as well.

Court records show four different convictions for burglary in Barnhart's history, including the most recent offense.

"At some point he has to learn that you can't go into people's houses and steal things," Blackburn said.

While arguing for a lesser sentence, Barnhart showed remorse for his actions, Blackburn said, but he did not show remorse in continuing to commit the offenses.

"We're not going to play anymore," Blackburn said. "If you do these things, you have to pay the price."