The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 1, 2013

Clinton teen sent to RCF for stealing from grandmother

Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

---- — CLINTON — Judge John Telleen berated a Clinton teen for stealing from his grandmother.

“Like what the heck,” Telleen said. “It’s more than stupid. It’s dishonest. I mean, it’s an insult.

Assistant County Attorney Ross Barlow and Defense Attorney Ryan Gerdes both recommended the Residential Corrections Facility program for Aaron M. Hasenmiller, 18, during a Thursday sentencing. Hasenmiller pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and forgery. The state dismissed two additional counts of forgery, a count of fourth-degree theft and a count of second-degree theft.

According to court documents, the defendant admitted to police that he found the keys to his grandmother’s safe and stole from her. His grandmother, Shirlie Cronk, reported the theft of silver coins, currency and jewelry from a safe at her residence, between Jan. 11 and April 13, totaling $3,475.

The silver coins, currency and a pearl necklace were returned to Cronk by William Gomez, who said her grandson sold them to him, according to the affidavit. Hansenmiller pawned the rest of the jewelry at Pawn Central and Roman Trader, according to court documents. He also admitted to stealing personal checks from Vicki White and forging three checks, totaling $325.

Hasenmiller told the court he made a terrible mistake.

“And I’m looking back on it, regretting who I am,” Hasenmiller said.

Telleen said he could not understand how the defendant could steal from the woman who put food in his mouth and a roof over his head.

“Aaron feels entitled,” Cronk told the judge. “I don’t know why.”

Cronk continued that her grandson is spoiled and was on drugs at the time of the crime. She added that sometimes he can be very helpful to her. Cronk agreed the RCF program might be what he needs.

“He has a lot of growing up to do,” Cronk said.

Telleen wrestled with Hasenmiller’s sentencing, saying that while he does not like to send 18-year-olds to prison, he did not want him to get off scott free either.

“I think this is pretty low, as you can tell,” Telleen said.

He decided to follow Cronk’s wishes and granted Hasenmiller a deferred judgment for each charge. He was ordered to pay a $750 civil penalty for each count, with one suspended. Telleen also ordered him to pay $375 in restitution to Citizens First Bank.

Telleen advised the defendant that he is not entitled to anything in this life, except what he works for. He added that Hasenmiller should cut a lot of grass and shovel a lot of snow for his grandmother after his time in the RCF.