Archived Story

Teen sentenced for break-ins

Published 1:12pm Thursday, March 11, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Cassopolis Vigilant

Jeremy Bartalone of Coloma was sentenced in Cass County Court Friday.

Bartalone, 19, pleaded guilty to breaking into two Dowagiac homes in January and was handed a five- to 15-year prison term.

In April 2009 Bartalone and two others broke into the home of James Schultz and stole more than $1,000-worth of property. Two months later they broke into the home of John Czerwien and took several high-end items worth $1,700. Bartalone was on parole at the time of the crimes.

The three were also ordered to pay $4,328 restitution.

This wasn’t the teenager’s first brush with the law. He is currently already serving a five-year prison sentence in Berrien County for home invasions.

All defense attorney Jason Ronning could do was argue for a more lenient sentencing due to his age.

“The only thing up for discussion is how long he will be in the department of corrections,” Ronning said. “He is 19 years old. At 19, he will be 24 or 25 until he’s out. He won’t be able to come around.”

Dodge was not swayed.

“You have three high severity felony convictions,” he said. “You’ve shown no respect for people’s property.”

Judge Michael Dodge also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of 19-year-old Justin Young of Dowagiac after he failed to appear for sentencing Friday. Young’s attorney Dale Blunier said Young left the courthouse after seeing his pre-sentence report.

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