CLINTON — A DeWitt man was granted a suspended sentence for a felony burglary charge.
Eric A. White, 44, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. White pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to the felony burglary charge.
Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers recommended the court order the sentence be suspended and White placed on probation, citing the recommendation contained in the pre-sentence investigation report. She stated White had no significant prior criminal history and is employable and is employed full time. She stated he is a good candidate for community supervision and has the tools to get his life on track. She requested the court order White to pay $987 in victim restitution.
Defense attorney John Kies requested the court consider granting White a deferred judgement and probation to give White a chance to keep a felony off his record. He stated White had given back items he had stolen. White stated to the court he made a huge mistake and admitted he needs to make better decisions going forward. He said he is setting boundaries and is starting to follow through with them.
“I made a stupid judgement call,” White said. “It won’t happen again.”
District Court Judge Nancy Tabor granted White a deferred judgement for one count of third-degree burglary. She ordered White to be placed on probation for three years. He was ordered to abstain from illegal substances, follow up with aftercare, submit to random drug testing and maintain verifiable employment. The court imposed a $750 civil penalty. White was ordered to pay $987 in victim restitution to Manatt’s, Inc. One count of third-degree theft was dismissed at sentencing, with costs assessed to White.
“You’ve held employment in the past. You’ve got a lot of potential,” Tabor said.
According to the affidavit, at 10:37 a.m. June 26, an officer was dispatched to Manatt’s Inc., located a 901 Westwood Drive, DeWitt, because some tools were missing from the business. An officer spoke with an employee who said a DeWalt hammer drill in a case containing two 18-volt batteries, drill bits and a charger valued at $3,000 were all missing. The employee went on to report a power probe valued at $150, a ratchet set valued at $80, a BB gun valued at $80 and approximately $20 in cash were missing as well. The employee then reported he suspected White, a former employee, had stolen the items because he recently had for sale on Facebook a similar drill and power probe.
The affidavit states an officer was able to view the listing and White did have the items for sale. The employee then reviewed the surveillance video from the business and reported he could see a subject appearing to be White enter the business at 5:56 p.m. June 24, when the business was closed, and was carrying a weed eater. The employee then stated the weed eater was not missing and was valued at $200. The officer viewed the surveillance video and from prior experience with White believed it looked like White.
The affidavit states an officer made contact with White at his residence. The officer read White his Miranda Rights and he agreed to discuss the incident. White admitted to stealing the items from Manatt’s, Inc. White was able to produce the DeWalt drill and a Nikota reciprocating saw, which had yet to be reported stolen. White stated he would be able to get the weed eater and BB gun but they were not currently at his residence. The officer then took possession of the DeWalt drill and Nikota reciprocating saw. The items were returned to Manatt’s, Inc.