Second man sentenced in New Palestine burglary

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GREENFIELD — A Fishers man this week received the same sentence as his friend, admitting the two broke into a Hancock County man’s home last summer while armed with handguns.

Matthew Babb, 22, was ordered to serve a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to a Level 2 felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary.

The charge was one of 12 counts filed against Babb in June after he and his accomplice — Brant Larson, 23, of New Palestine — broke into a New Palestine home and held the owner at gunpoint as revenge for a drug deal that went wrong, according to court documents.

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A judge this week ordered Babb to spend three years in prison. Following his release, he’ll complete three years on home detention through the Hancock County Community Corrections program. He’ll also serve four years on probation.

Larson received the same sentence last month.

The victim in the case told police that on June 16 the men came to his home and threatened him with a gun, demanding money they said they were owed in a recent drug deal.

The men returned again late the next day, entered his home by breaking through the window of a locked door. The man said he called 911 as he jumped out of his second-floor bedroom window and ran, according to reports.

Babb and Larson were arrested as they tried to flee from police. Larson cooperated with investigators and told them a story that matched the victim’s account of what happened, according to court documents.

A friend of Babb and Larson, who was interviewed as part of the investigation, told police his friends broke into the victim’s home intending to “kidnap (the alleged victim) and take him to their bosses,” court documents state.

Babb and Larson, the friend said, “were part of a drug ring which he believed to be current and former members of a fraternity at Indiana University” that sold Xanax, according to court documents.

While speaking briefly during his sentencing hearing, Babb told the judge he was sorry for what he’d done and has since tried to turn his life around. He has completed in-patient and out-patient drug treatment programs and is working with a sponsor to help him stay sober, he said.

“My actions in June don’t reflect the person I was raised to be,” he said.

Babb’s loved ones packed the gallery of Hancock County Superior Court 1. He was allowed to hug his parents before he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.