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Man sentenced in fatal Middletown burglary in which co-conspirator was killed

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 26, 2021

One of two men who pleaded guilty in an attempted burglary that turned deadly last summer in Middletown was sentenced to prison Friday, according to the Journal-News.

Andrew Roberts, 23, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated burglary in February with gun specifications. He and co-defendant Jonathan Oatneal Jr., 24, were each indicted in September for murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. In exchange for the guilty pleas, the remaining charges were dismissed.

Roberts faced a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison with an additional 5.5 years behind bars that can be imposed by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if Roberts gets into trouble while incarcerated.

Judge Greg Stephens sentenced Roberts to 19 years in prison with an indefinite term of up to 5.5 years. Roberts’ sentencing was rescheduled after the 12th District Court of Appeals on Monday called for more specific instruction about the indefinite prison term at the time of sentencing.

Earlier this month, Oatneal took the same plea deal. His sentencing is set for June 14.

The two were charged in an Aug. 19, 2020 incident during which Roberts, Jonathan Oatneal Jr. and Oatneal’s brother, Joshua Oatneal, attempted to rob a man in the 2600 block of Aspen Drive. The resident shot and killed Joshua Oatneal.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the surviving men in the alleged burglary are charged with murder because they are complicit in the criminal activity that led to Joshua Oatneal’s death.