By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
A man charged with stealing approximately $2,200 in items from Walmart will spend as much as five years in prison.
Lance R. Richart, 42, pleaded guilty on Sept. 27 to filling up shopping carts and pushing them out of Walmart. Prosecuting Attorney Amanda Myers explained that the charge was initially third-degree theft. However, after it was discovered that additional items were taken on more than one instance, the charge was raised to second-degree theft, a class D felony.
Defense attorney Whitney Petersen asked that Judge Thomas Reidel consider a suspended sentence. She told the court Thursday that her client regrets what he has done and is addressing mental health issues through treatment. Richart agreed that what he did was wrong and that he should be punished.
“But I feel a prison sentence would not help my situation,” Richart said.
Reidel, however, did not agree. He said that looking at the pre-sentencing investigation report, he sees a man with a very poor criminal history, referencing a few of Richart’s previous burglary and forgery charges.
“You have a long history of crimes and theft and dishonesty,” Reidel said.
Reidel told Richart he was concerned by what can be done in the community to help him. He also was worried by the fact that despite five public intoxication charges in the past year, the defendant did not think he had a substance abuse problem. Reidel said that due to these factors, he felt incarceration is appropriate in this case.
Richart was taken into custody and will be transfered into the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections, where he will serve no more than five years. A fine of $750 was suspended. Richart is required to provide a DNA sample, pay court costs and assessments and pay restitution in the amount of $2,234.69 to Walmart.