One of two defendants charged with breaking into several Wrangell boats entered a change of plea agreement Thursday. Laven Ritchie pled guilty to two felony charges for burglary and tampering with evidence. Ritchie also pled guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge.
All other charges were dropped as part of the agreement. Ritchie, who was on probation for DUI convictions, faces up to about 290 days in jail. He’s currently participating in an in-patient drug treatment program. Every day spent in treatment counts towards his potential sentence. Ritchie is scheduled for sentencing in September.
Co-defendant Aaron Howell also pled guilty to attempted burglary and tampering with evidence in January, both misdemeanors. In exchange, three felony charges were dropped. Howell will need to complete 160 hours of community service by September and will serve one year of probation.
Several boats in Heritage Harbor were broken into in November last year. Items stolen have an estimated value of about $2,800. Ritchie and Howell were caught on surveillance video carrying several stolen items back to an apartment complex.