The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 22, 2013

Lewisburg church burglar gets 31 months to 7 years

By Evamarie Socha

LEWISBURG —  One of two men involved in a burglary of a Lewisburg church pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to 31 months to 7 years in prison.

Zebula Brown, 34, of Mifflinburg, pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property and was sentenced to 16 months to five years in jail. He also pleaded guilty to possession of drugs and paraphernalia and was sentenced of an additional three months to a year.

Brown also received another one to two years in prison because he had violated the terms of his probation. Brown was on probation for a 2000 robbery charge. For that crime, he originally received five years of probation and would have been done in 2005, but he committed other crimes, said Union County District Attorney D. Peter Johnson.

“He should have been done,” Johnson said, “but he kept getting in trouble and the parole was revoked and street time was taken.”

In March, Brown’s co-defendant, Zachary Lee Dorman, 28, of Mifflinburg, pleaded guilty to burglary and possession of drugs and paraphernalia. He was sentenced to nine months to five years for the burglary, and three months to a year for possession; Dorman also was sentenced to 21 months to 11 years for DUI under a controlled substance and escape.

The burglary charges were for an April 2012 break-in at the United in Christ Lutheran Church in Lewisburg, one of four Valley churches hit in a 10-day spree last spring.

Brown and Dorman were arrested in May 2012 when found at a Milton home; Brown had an outstanding bench warrant in Union County for failing to appear for a hearing on DUI charges.

When Milton police and Union County sheriff office personnel responded, Brown and Dorman were found among used needles and a few empty bags of heroin. An inventory of articles taken from the home revealed a guitar and two computer components, which were among items stolen from the church.

In the burglary, the United in Christ Church lost several thousand dollars worth of sound and music equipment, including a sound board, wireless microphones, a guitar and amplifier. Brown also agreed to pay restitution to the church.

Brown’s plea deal came one day shy of his jury trial on a misdemeanor drug possession charge, in which five witnesses were ready to testify against him, Johnson said. Brown immediately was sent to the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill for processing.