by Jane M. Pascall
A preliminary hearing was held at Homer Court last week in the case of Joshua Paul Johnston who is being held at Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai in connection with the Tech Connect and Salvation Army burglaries.
Johnston was initially charged with burglary in the second degree, theft in the second degree and tampering with evidence. All class C felonies.
Kenai District Attorney Donald Soderstrom did not present evidence at the hearing, but said the state would be reducing each charge to criminal trespass in the first degree, theft in the third degree and attempted tampering with physical evidence.
Soderstrom said the state “will be seeking indictments” on the reduced charges. He was not available for comment.
A plea of “not guilty” was also entered on Johnston’s behalf. Trial call is scheduled for Dec. 9.
Transient Joshua P. Johnston, 24, was arrested on Oct. 23 by Homer Police in connection with the Tech Connect burglary and the Salvation Army burglary. Police received a report that the Salvation Army on Pioneer Avenue had been burglarized and a safe containing nearly $2,000 was taken on Sept. 11.
On Oct. 21, Tech Connect was also broken into and $4,500 in electronic equipment – five Apple i-Pads, three i-Pods and one Dre wireless headphone were stolen.
Police were lead to Johnston after he allegedly dropped a cell phone at the site of a vehicle break-in near the Salvation Army. Police also received a tip regarding a suspected stolen iPad from Tech Connect.
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