Man sentenced to 45 years in break-in that injured homeowner

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JOHNSON COUNTY – A burglar who broke into a Johnson County home and injured a man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Jeffrey L. Daniel, 40, Stilesville, was convicted of burglary resulting in bodily injury, a Class A felony, during a bench trial last month. In August 2011, Daniel forced his way into a rural Johnson County home while the residents were out. When the husband and wife returned, they surprised Daniel while he was still taking items from their home and loading them onto his truck.

After a brief scuffle in which the husband was hurt, Daniel managed to escape. The husband wrote down his license plate number, and police found his truck the next day. Investigators found several stolen items inside the truck, and the couple positively identified Daniel as the thief. Daniel later admitted to the crime.

After being found guilty, Daniel had his sentencing hearing on Thursday. Judge Lance Hamner sentenced him to 45 years in prison, agreeing with the prosecution’s assertion that Daniel’s extensive criminal history called for a lengthy sentence.

Daniel has four prior convictions for burglary and was still on parole from the Department of Corrections when he was arrested. Hamner also pointed to the fact that Daniel injured a homeowner during the burglary, elevating the crime to a Class A felony, the highest under state law.