ANGOLA — If Thomas Anthony Sitts, 21, Angola, shows up for this Dec. 13 sentencing hearing, there’s probably a good chance he’s going to get to hear a lot from Steuben Circuit Court Judge Allen Wheat.

That’s because Sitts, who was released from Steuben County Jail on Saturday to attend an uncle’s funeral, never returned. Police believe he headed to Tennessee.

“Thomas Sitts was granted a furlough in each case from the Steuben County Jail to attend the funeral of a family member. Further, the Court ordered the accused to report back to the Jail no later than 6:00 p.m. on November 20, 2021, to restart his incarceration,” said charging documents filed in court.

He was supposed to be out of jail from 1:30-6 p.m. Since then, paperwork has been started to try to round up Sitts and return him to the jail.

Steuben County Prosecutor Jeremy Musser has filed failure to return to lawful detention charges to cover all eight of the cases he had pending. Each count is a Level 6 felony.

“I’ve charged a count for each case,” Musser said. “A warrant has also been requested for all states.”

Sitts went to court on Thursday for a hearing to set sentencing after he reached a plea agreement with the state, court records say. At the conclusion of the hearing, Sitts requested he be allowed out of jail to attend the funeral, which Wheat granted.

Capt. Jason Hufnagle of the Steuben County Jail learned that Sitts was probably not returning to the jail later in the day Saturday.

“Hufnagle was contacted by the jail at approximately 6:30 p.m. and advised that the jail received information that Thomas (Sitts) was on his way to Tennessee,” said Hufnagle’s statement in a probable cause affidavit.

The eight charges Sitts was originally facing include four misdemeanors and four felonies in cases dating to 2019. The most serious felony is a charge of burglary of a dwelling that was filed in February. The other felonies include a Level 5 felony count of burglary and two Level 6 felony counts of resisting law enforcement.

Sitts was facing 11 years, 9 months in prison, with 2 years suspended and served as probation upon release from prison.

“Since he has already pled guilty, it’s up to the Court to decide whether or not to accept his guilty plea at sentencing,” Musser said.

We’ll be listening for Wheat’s decision at that Dec. 13, 1 p.m. hearing.

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