Accused burglar with a criminal past surrenders

From staff reports

A Lower Salem man who served nine years in a juvenile facility for a double murder and was released four years ago is in jail under allegations that he and another man broke into a house on Lancaster Street Monday afternoon and stole items that included a safe, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Bryan Christopher Sturm, 25, of 331 Main St., turned himself in at the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, the release said.

Sturm was convicted of the 2004 shooting deaths of his aunt, Emma Tidd, 40, and grandmother, Nancy Tidd, 61, both of Lowell. At age 12, he was the youngest person in Ohio to be given an adult sentence for murder. Sturm was released four years ago at age 21, from the juvenile center where he served his time.

At the time of his conviction, the adult murder sentence was suspended because of his age, with the condition that it could be reimposed if he was charged with further crimes of violence or was found not to have been rehabilitated while in the juvenile center.

The sheriff’s office said it received a complaint about stolen jewelry and a break-in at a home on Lancaster Street late Monday afternoon. The resident, Shannon Dye, who said she was Sturm’s former girlfriend, told the deputy she believed Sturm had broken into the house.

On Tuesday, Sturm came to the sheriff’s office, the release said, was advised of his rights and gave a statement indicating that he and an accomplice broke into the house through a window and stole several items, including a safe. They later broke into the safe, removed the contents, which included cash, and threw the safe into the weeds near Duck Creek, the release said.

Sturm was arrested on charges of burglary, a second-degree felony, and theft, a fifth-degree felony.

Chief Deputy Mark Warden said Wednesday afternoon that the sheriff’s office had been aware of Sturm’s release but this is the first time he has been arrested since then.

“We’ve been watching, but we haven’t had him under surveillance or anything,” Warden said.

Sturm, he said, remained in jail Wednesday.