Man sentenced for Newport United Methodist Church break-in | News, Sports, Jobs

Man sentenced for Newport United Methodist Church break-in | News, Sports, Jobs

Washington County Assistant Prosecutor David Silwani, Attorney Ray Smith and Mitchell Erb await Erb’s sentencing Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

MARIETTA — One of two individuals indicted for breaking and entering the Newport United Methodist Church was sentenced Thursday afternoon to 60 days in jail.

Mitchell L. Erb, 33, who is serving time at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County, W.Va., was indicted in January on a fifth-degree felony charge of breaking and entering, and a fourth-degree felony charge of safe cracking. He pleaded guilty in August to the breaking and entering charge.

The church reported the theft of a money box, Bible and other items, however detectives from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate the items.

His accomplice, Joseph H. Bui, 40, of Marietta, is scheduled to go before Washington County Common Pleas Judge Randall Burnworth for a jury trial at 9 a.m. Sept. 30.

“You are sentenced to 60 days of jail concurrent with the sentence you are currently serving in another jurisdiction. You will receive credit for 15 days against that sentence,” Burnworth said.

Restitution of $708 will be divided between Bui and Erb if Bui is convicted, he added.

Before he was sentenced, Erb spoke to the court on his own behalf.

“I would like to apologize. At the appropriate time, I’m sure I’ll see the people at the church and apologize. I know it was wrong,” he said.

Along with the 60 days in jail, he will receive one year of community control.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at

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