You return home and your house has been burglarized. The place has been ransacked, destroyed. Your valuables are gone. Worse, you wake up and there’s a burglar in the house. In Your Home!
We can imagine but only those who have experienced it know the feeling of being violated.
So there’s a fellow who has committed at least 29 break-ins, burglaries, thefts on the West Side of Madison last year alone. Add bail jumping. (More here.) Much of what he stole has been fenced, so the owners will never recover their possessions. And it will be a long while before they can shed the feeling of vulnerability.
“This guy was a prolific repeat offender in terms of break-in’s several in my neighborhood!” says Meadowood neighborhood police liaison Dave Glomp. “Neighbors were terrified and in some cases they never got over it, some moved away and many didn’t get any of what was stolen back!”
The mope is up for sentencing 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, before judge Ellen K. Berz. You’re Judge Ellen, much time do you give him?
If you guessed “90 days,” you’re a winner. Well, actually, we’re all the losers.
Because 90 days is what the district attorney has recommended. Right in line with the perp’s defense attorney. UPDATE: Lt. Chalecki said the pre-sentence report “is completed by the DA’s office and is a background investigation, of sorts, into the suspect’s life and history. They use the results of that investigation to make a sentencing recommendation.” But now authorities are clarifying that the 90 days recommendation comes from the probation and parole agent responsible for doing the pre-sentencing investigation. “The DA’s office is not pleased with the recommendation and will be asking for significantly more time,” according to Detective Justine Harris.
Here is Madison Police Lieutenant Lori Beth Chalecki:
Roderick Williams, the prolific burglar from the west side, has a sentencing hearing on April 10 at 1:30 pm. Roderick is the suspect that burglarized a number of Westside homes, was arrested, incarcerated, and released. Upon his release on bail, he immediately went back burglarizing homes, again in the west district.
Here is what the probation and parole people recommend:
- For bail jumping, the maximum penalty is nine months in jail. The recommendation: two years probation.
- For Class F felony burglary, the maximum penalty is 12½ years in prison. The recommendation: 90 days in jail, probation for 3 to 4 years. BTW: the two penalties will run concurrent, so there will be no more than four years probation. As a condition, he has to work, go to school, or get treatment (for what, is not specified).
“Yes, he is off the street for now,” says Meadowood’s other police liaison, Merle Bengston. “But, if given another break in sentencing, the question is how long before he terrorizes once again?”
Lt. Chalecki advises:
[If] you have an opinion or voice you would like the judge to hear prior to her imposing a sentence, the DA would be willing to read letters, or excerpts of letters, received from citizens regarding the impact of his behavior on their neighborhood. It is also felt that having citizens attend (even if they can’t speak) shows the community cares about this outcome.
Hint! Hint! BTW: The DA’s office phone number to get comments read into the record is 266-4211.