Half of a husband-and-wife team charged with breaking into Howard County homes and stealing more than $11,000 worth of goods has pleaded guilty to burglary charges.
According to court documents, William Clinton Ashbrook, Jr., 40, of the Eastern Shore, broke into homes in Elkridge, Laurel and Ellicott City in April, stealing jewelry, cash and electronics.
Ashbrook entered a house on Folly Quarter Road through an unlocked garage door on April 11, according to court documents. He then broke the doorknob on the door leading into the house.
Once inside, Ashbrook stole two credit cards, $225 in cash and canceled checks from the 1960s. According to court records, Ashbrook made an $80 purchase with one of the credit cards at a convenience store, and another purchase at Office Depot in Landsdowne.
He also tried to use the card at a Royal Farms in Laurel, but it was declined.
At his plea hearing Monday, Ashbrook faced one of the victims of his burglaries, saying: “I sincerely apologize for invading your privacy and I hope you will someday forgive me,” according to Wayne Kirwan, director of community justice and public information at the Howard County State's Attorney's Office.
Judge Louis Becker scheduled a sentencing for January of next year. The state will recommend a sentence of 15 years with eight to be served in prison, according to Kirwan.
Ashbrook’s wife, Jessica Rochelle Ashbrook, 37, faces charges in two of the three burglaries. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.