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Man pleads guilty to burglary, injuring of 88-year-old woman

Riley M. Heilman
Riley M. Heilman
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, March 17, 2017 11:47 am
A Fort Wayne man pleaded guilty to breaking into an elderly woman's house and injuring the woman after he consumed LSD and marijuana. Riley M. Heilman, 19, of the 5300 block of Camden Drive, pleaded guilty Friday in Allen Superior Court to a single charge of burglary resulting in bodily injury, a Level 3 felony. The open, or cap, plea calls for Heilman to serve no more than nine years in prison, if the plea is accepted by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull on April 7, when he is sentenced.

Heilman admitted he exited his residence while nude on Oct. 28 and jumped the fence into the back yard of an 88-year-old woman whose dog was outside at the time, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Heilman allegedly began to scream and chase the dog around in the back yard, so the woman tried to direct her dog into the house.

Heilman then pushed his way into her residence via the back door by crashing into the glass screen door, causing it to shatter, and began to attack the woman by hitting her numerous times in the head with a closed fist and dragged her across the kitchen floor by her hair, causing a larg clump of hair to fall out, the affidavit said.

About this time a 51-year-old neighbor heard the victim screaming and ran to her back door and observed a naked man standing over the victim inside the house. Heilman grabbed a big piece of wood and swung at the neighbor who grabbed the defendant, causing both to fall onto the back patio. Heilman grabbed a dog bowl and struck the neighbor numerous times in the face and head area, causing his glasses to break. The neighbor struggled with Heilman until a police officer arrived after another neighbor called 911, the affidavit said.

The officer saw Heilman was bloody from numerous shards of glass on the back patio and saw he was engaged in a battle with the neighbor. She ordered Heilman to show his hands, but Heilman allegedly disregarded all commands and continued to fight and resist. The officer and the neighbor struggled to control Heilman, who had grabbed the officer's radio and threw it. She attempted to dry stun Heilman with little effect. Another two officers arrived to provide backup and allegedly struggled with Heilman to handcuff him.

The neighbor sustained a small cut to his arm, the bridge of his nose and his neck and complained of head pain from being struck with the dog bowl. The 88-year-old woman had a scratch on her forehead, cut on her leg, cut on her chin and large bruising on her arm and leg. She complained of pain all over her body and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

During the change of plea hearing, Heilman admitted he only remembered screaming and nothing else after consuming LSD and marijuana. Defense attorney Quinton Ellis reminded Heilman that consumption of drugs is not a valid defense for the crime, and Allen Superior Court Magistrate Samuel Keirns asked Heilman if he had read the probable-cause affidavit describing his actions.

Heilman agreed the actions listed in the affidavit very well could have happened as a result of taking the drugs. 

In exchange for the plea agreement, five charges, including battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and resisting law enforcement, will be dismissed at the April 7 sentencing hearing.

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