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Published: Monday, 4/26/2010

Man pleads guilty in beating of elderly Gibsonburg couple

BLADE STAFF
Jimmy Houston Jimmy Houston
NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

FREMONT - A day before he was to go on trial, a Woodville man pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from the July 2 beating and robbery of an elderly Gibsonburg couple.

Jimmy Houston, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count each of kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and grand theft before Sandusky County Common Pleas Judge John Dewey. Houston, who is being held in the Sandusky County jail, faces up to 45 years when he is sentenced.

Houston was indicted last year along with Paul Biddwell, 32, of Alvada and Ronald Ruby, 33, of Toledo for breaking into the home of James Kohler, 74, and his wife, Mary, 76. The couple were beaten and numerous items, including an extensive gun collection, were stolen.

In January, Biddwell pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count each of kidnapping and grand theft. Ruby had entered guilty pleas last September to two counts of attempted murder and one count each of kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and grand theft.

As part of plea agreements with prosecutors, both men agreed to testify against Houston. They have not been sentenced.



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