Man OK to stand trial for crime spree

A Beverly man accused of a burglary spree that ended in one home allegedly being burned to the ground was found competent to stand trial Monday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Allen J. Grigg, also known as Anthony Johnson, 20, of 731 Center St. and formerly of Lowell, is one of four people implicated in a series of breaking and enterings that started Aug. 17 in Lowell and ended that same evening in New Matamoras.

“He is capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting in his own defense,” said Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane, reading from a report compiled by a certified psychologist.

Lane noted that the report did indicate Grigg suffers from severe impairment to his ability to pay attention; however, that is not grounds to find him incompetent to stand trial.

Grigg, as well as a then 17-year-old juvenile and 25-year-old Steven E. Knotts, of 233 Main St., Lowell, are accused of breaking into two Lowell homes and a Lowell business Aug. 17 and stealing multiple items.

Additionally, they are accused of stealing more items from outside two other Lowell homes.

The group then allegedly made their way to New Matamoras, breaking into 567 Upper Archers Fork, the home of Shane Givens, and reportedly burning it to the ground, according to Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Amy Graham.

A second-degree felony count of aggravated arson is one of nine felonies for which Grigg and Knotts were indicted in December.

Susan Knotts, 24, also of 233 Main St., was also indicted on a second-degree felony count of complicity to aggravated arson.

Among their other charges, Grigg and Steven were indicted on three third-degree felony counts of burglary, two fourth-degree felony counts of theft, two fifth-degree felony counts of breaking and entering, one fifth-degree felony count of theft and three first-degree misdemeanor counts of theft.

Susan Knotts was indicted for complicity in all the same charges, all of which carry the same degree felony or misdemeanor charges as their counterparts.

The burglaries and thefts amounted to thousands of dollars worth of stolen property, an estimated $15,000 of which was recovered by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office after a tip pointed them to Grigg, Steven Knotts and the juvenile.

Grigg and Steven Knotts admitted to the thefts and led officers to a wooded area on Ogles Ridge Road in Noble County where they had hidden the stolen items under tarps and booby-trapped the perimeter with barbed wire.

“We have 34 pages of evidence that we seized there and about half was returned and half is left,” said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

Among the unclaimed items is guitar equipment, ammunition, a couple of firearms, cell phones and clothing, said Mincks.

People who think their property might be included in the recovered items can contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 376-7070.

Grigg and the Knotts face a maximum of eight years in prison on the aggravated arson charge alone.

The juvenile has already been charged in Washington County Juvenile Court.

Grigg’s case was set for trial June 5 at 8 a.m.