Elkhart man pleads guilty to home invasion near Dowagiac

In Cass Court Friday, Aaron James Olbrys, 33, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to first-degree home invasion and conspiracy to commit first-degree home invasion and was sentenced to credit for 1,126 days already served, $1,616 in fines and costs and $5,328.93 in restitution. He is currently in prison in Indiana on drug charges.

The incident occurred Jan. 11, 2018, when he and others broke into homes around Magician Lake near Dowagiac. 

“You’re 33 years old and you’ve spent nearly seven years of your life behind bars and you still have more time to serve,” Judge Herman said. “Drugs are doing you no favors, you also should give up on burglary. You don’t seem to be real good at it.”

“Crime doesn’t pay and you’re the poster child,” he added. “How much farther ahead would you be if you had just worked during that time. Even at minimum wage, you would have more to show for it and be free … Committing crimes is expensive, look at all the money you’re giving to the court.”

In other sentencings:

Alonzo Herr Jr., 33, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to unlawful driving away of an automobile and was given credit for 1,184 days already served and $1,548 in fines and costs.  The incident occurred Jan. 18, 2018, in Calvin Township. He was recently released from prison in Indiana.

Ashley Leigh Pendleton, 37, of Elkhart, pleaded guilty to attempted uttering and publishing and was sentenced to credit for 161 days served and $258 in fines and costs. That incident occurred Jan. 24, 2018, at the Dowagiac Harding’s when she wrote bad checks. She also pleaded guilty to possession of meth, possession of cocaine and possession of synthetic marijuana and was sentenced to credit for 258 days served and $300 in fines and costs. That incident occurred July 10, 2020, in Mason Township. She is currently in jail in Elkhart.

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