52°FOvercastFull Forecast

Pipe theft sentence reduced

10-year term dropped to 6.5 following appellate ruling

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 1:32 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 12:36 a.m. CST

WOODSTOCK – A former Palatine man will likely be released in a matter of months after his 10-year prison sentence was knocked down to 6 ½ years after an appellate court ruling that reduced his conviction to a lesser offense.

After a jury trial in February 2011, Brett A. Roberts, 39, was convicted of residential burglary and criminal damage to property for stealing copper pipes from a vacant home in May 2010 on Queen Anne Road near Woodstock.

A real estate agent checking on the house interrupted the burglary, and fingerprints on a pipe led investigators to Roberts, prosecutors said. In January, the Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court ruled that the house was not a “dwelling” according to the law because no one was living there and no one intended to do so within a reasonable period of time.

The owners had moved to North Carolina and did not plan to live there again. As a result, the appellate court reduced Roberts’ conviction from residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, to burglary, a Class 2 felony.

On Thursday, after a meeting between Roberts’ attorney, the prosecutor and the judge, the agreed-upon 6 ½-year sentence was handed down.

With credit for nearly 1,000 days in custody and time served, Roberts will be released in a matter of months.

Roberts has a lengthy criminal history. In McHenry County, his cases include four convictions for forgery with sentences totaling 10 ½years in prison, as well as obstructing justice and possession of a controlled substance, both of which had one-year sentences.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Northwest Herald.

Reader Poll

Should convicted sex offenders be barred from using social media?
Depends on the crime