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Burglar earns 19-month sentence

by: Submitted photo - Jonathan H. Thomas


   The second of two burglars who terrorized Madras businesses in December was sentenced in the Jefferson County Circuit Court April 9.
   Jonathan Harold Thomas, 24, was sentenced to 19 months in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections, and must repay nearly $47,000 to local businesses, as well as an individual homeowner.
   Co-defendant Devon Charles Hanson, 22, pleaded guilty to similar charges Feb. 13, and was also sentenced to 19 months of prison.
   The two pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary -- for a residence on Southwest First Street -- and numerous counts of second-degree burglary. Thomas also pleaded guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm, a class C felony, which occurred on Dec. 22, 2007, the day the two were arrested.
   At the sentencing hear, Thomas' attorney, William J. Condron, said Thomas had told him he was glad that they were apprehended. "Their behavior involving guns was really starting to scare him," he said.
   The burglaries began in early December, when Thomas and Hanson broke into Parr Lumber and Old Hat Glass Beads, both on U.S. Highway 97 on the south end of Madras. Damage and loss at the two businesses totaled around $30,000.
   During the five years of post-prison supervision, Thomas must repay $46,797.55 to the victims, including Parr Lumber, Old Hat Glass Beads, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Los Compadres Restaurant, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Jerry Middleton, A-1 Self Storage, and Juniper Mini Storage Units.
   Liability for restitution is "joint and several" with Hanson. "Joint and several means that both of them are responsible for 100 percent," explained District Attorney Peter Deuel, noting that each is expected to pay half.
   "As soon as the entire obligation is paid off, there is no further obligation for the respective defendants," he said.
   At the sentencing hearing, before Circuit Court Judge Dan Ahern, Thomas apologized. "I'm sorry to all the victims and families," he said. "I was not in my right state of mind. I know that's not an excuse."
   A total of 14 counts of theft I and II, and criminal mischief I and II were dismissed at sentencing.