The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 20, 2013

Judge gives Clinton man deferred judgment

CLINTON — Judge Thomas Reidel told a Clinton man charged with third-degree burglary to make sure that he thinks before he acts in the future.

Reidel gave James Bachelder, 19, 1146 Camanche Ave, a deferred judgement and three years of probation during a sentencing ThursdaY. Bachelder was arrested with two others on March 1 for breaking into Smith Brothers, 1016 S. Fourth St.

Bachelder pleaded guilty to the burglary on March 7. ON Thursday, he told the court that he understands what he did was wrong.

“I know I can’t take it back. I wish I could,” Bachelder said. “It was very poor judgement on my part.”

Bachelder’s attorney Charles Ellis said his client is young and this was his first offense. He added that the defendant admitted his mistake and fully cooperated with the investigation. Reidel agreed that after taking all of these factors into account, a deferred judgment seemed like the best sentence.

“Mr. Bachelder, you’re saying all of the right things today and I hope you mean them,” Reidel said.

Reidel added that he could see that the defendant was embarrassed by his actions. He felt that Bachelder gave into peer pressure and this incident is an aberration. He added he did not want to burden the young man with a felony on his record.

Bachelder was fined $750 and ordered to pay $948 in court-appointed attorney fees and $287.52 in restitution to Smith Brothers. Reidel also ordered him to obtain employment, get his GED and abstain from any alcohol and drugs.

He warned Bachelder to follow his probation, fight peer pressure and prove that this incident is not what defines him.

“In the future you’re going to have to be stronger than you were that night,” Reidel said.

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