Judge delivers lecture to burglar
By Bill Bishop
Published: Thursday, September 7, 2006
A home burglar got a stern lecture and a 32-month prison sentence
Wednesday from a judge who said the community is "sick and tired"
of drug users stealing their hard-earned possessions
Lane County Circuit Judge Gregory Foote also reminded 20-year-old
Michael Scott Wrighthouse that Oregon law allows residents to use
deadly force when they encounter a burglar inside an occupied dwelling
"They have guns in their houses because of people like you.
They are prepared to blow you away.
You will go out of there in a body bag,
and nobody will care," Foote told Wrighthouse
"Do I condone that behavior? I understand it
," the judge said.
"The community is sick and tired of people like you."
Sheriff's investigators said Wrighthouse created a "mini crime wave"
with at least seven Veneta area thefts and burglaries of homes where
residents left windows and doors ajar during July's hot weather.
He stole wallets, purses and two cars. A woman caught him red-handed
inside her home and he fled, a sheriff's spokesman said.
Deputies got a tip on his identity when a car theft victim saw
Wrighthouse driving the victim's stolen car in Veneta. Wrighthouse,
who has lived in Springfield and Veneta, was arrested at the home of
an aunt and uncle.
He pleaded guilty to two counts each of burglary and car theft. Other
charges were dropped in the plea deal. He has a minor criminal record.
Defense lawyer Sara Collins said Wrighthouse is a high school dropout
who began using meth- amphetamine at age 16.
He was under the drug's influence and "had been up for days" when he
did the crimes, she said.
One of his victims, who spoke in court Wednesday but asked not to be
identified, said Wrighthouse showed total disregard for others when
he broke into a home that had a wheelchair ramp and stole $400 worth
of vital medications from a disabled person.
Wrighthouse also stole a car containing hundreds of dollars worth of
tools and important papers that was parked at the residence. The car
has not been recovered, leaving the owner without the tools of his
occupation and without transportation.
"I can't afford another car," the owner told the judge.
Judge Foote invited Wrighthouse
to take as much methamphetamine as possible
so that he might die from the drug sooner than later,
and cease being a problem for others.
"People like you are just a nightmare for the rest of us," Foote told
him. "If you think there's a better plan for your life, now is the
time to make that choice." [ emfasis added to the nice parts ]
I like this judge;
he knows the basic principles upon which America was founded !
We need not fear that he is a liberal.
The sagacity of Judge Foote rivals
that of the Learned Hand.