Another Suspect Charged in Connection with Sugarcreek Borough Break-In

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published February 14, 2024 5:31 am
Last Updated: March 28, 2024 4:41 pm

SUGARCREEK BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) — A second suspect has been charged in connection with a Sugarcreek Borough Borough break-in in January.

Court records show 22-year-old Chante Lynea Johnston, of Franklin, was arraigned on the following criminal charges on Tuesday, February 13, in front of District Judge Ronald E. Antos:

  • Criminal Trespass-Break Into Structure, Felony 3
  • Criminal Mischief — Damage Property, Misdemeanor 3

According to a criminal complaint released on Tuesday, February 13, Johnston is one of three known associates of 23-year-old Juan Felipe Hugus, of Franklin, who was charged stemming from an incident that occurred near Rocky Grove Avenue and Gilfillian Street, in Sugarcreek Borough, Venango County, on January 14.

In the early morning hours of January 14, a known female victim was awakened by people talking loudly in her kitchen, which is directly across from her bedroom. The woman arose from her bed, looked towards her kitchen, and observed three men standing around her kitchen island. Two of the men were wearing dark sweatshirts with their hoods up. The third man was reported to be a Hispanic-looking male with dark brown hair—who was later identified as Juan Felipe Hugus—the complaint states.

The woman observed the strong odor of alcoholic beverage when she walked towards the kitchen, the complaint notes.

The woman spoke up and asked why the men were inside her house. Hugus said, “No, you are in my house,” according to the complaint.

At this time, the woman’s husband came downstairs and observed men arguing with his wife, the complaint continues.

Just then, a female entered the side door of the victim’s house and told the men inside that they were in the wrong house. At this time, Hugus stated, “My bad. My bad.” All exited the residence through the side door, according to the complaint.

Two males and the female entered a dark-colored sedan and tried to coax the third male to get into the car. The third man walked out in front of the residence as the car pulled away heading east on Gilfillan Street. Fresh tracks in the snow were observed going in front of the residence, then along the south side of his property towards a residence on the 400 block of Rocky Grove Avenue, the complaint indicates.

Upon arrival at the scene, PSP Troopers Owens and Lindenberg were met by Franklin Police Officer Martz, who was inside the victim’s residence. The female victim informed Trooper Lindenberg of what had transpired that night and related that she would be able to identify the one male in her residence who did not have a hood on over his head, the complaint notes.

After speaking with the victims, Officer Martz and Trooper Lindenberg followed the footprints in the fresh snow of the male who refused to get into the car that drove away. The boot prints led them from the front of the victim’s residence to the back door of the residence on Rocky Grove Avenue,  the complaint states.

Lights were illuminated on the first and second floors of the residence. Trooper Lindenberg knocked on the door for several minutes with a negative response, states the complaint.

Upon walking around the Rocky Grove Avenue residence, Trooper Lindenberg observed no other foot traffic entering or exiting the residence, the complaint indicates.

Upon running the address in the trooper’s RMS System, it was discovered that PSP Franklin assisted Sugarcreek Borough Police recently in a domestic violence incident involving Juan Felipe Hugus and a known female victim, according to the complaint.

On January 15, Trooper Lindenberg spoke with Sugarcreek Borough Police Chief Robert Wenner, who informed him that Juan Hugus and his female companion commonly run with another known male, the complaint says.

On January 16, Trooper Lindenberg requested the PSP Troop E’s Forensic Services Unit to prepare a photo lineup including Hugus and his two known associates, the complaint notes.

On January 28, Trooper Behe presented the female victim with the photo line-up. She positively identified Juan Felipe Hugus as one of the males who was inside her residence on January 14, the complaint states.

Hugus was taken into custody at his residence on February 5. That day, he was interviewed by police and informed that three other individuals were involved in the crime. The individuals were identified as Chante Johnston, 23-year-old Jayden Haggerty, of Franklin, and 23-year-old Damika Whitman-Holt, also of Franklin, according to the complaint.

According to court documents, Johnston is currently free on  $20,000.00 unsecured bail.

Hugus was arraigned at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 5, on the following charges in front of District Judge Patrick Lowrey:

  • Criminal Trespass-Break Into Structure, Felony 2
  • Criminal Mischief — Damage Property, Misdemeanor 3

He is currently free on $10,000.00 unsecured bail.

Hugus and Johnston face preliminary hearings on Wednesday, February 21, at 8:30 a.m. in Venango County Central Court.

As of Wednesday, February 14, Haggerty and Whitman-Holt are awaiting preliminary hearings on the following charges:

  • Criminal Trespass-Break Into Structure, Felony 3
  • Criminal Mischief — Damage Property, Misdemeanor 3

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