A man who broke into a Bend couple’s home naked and brawled with the armed, 79-year-old homeowner was sentenced to 45 days in jail Wednesday, though prosecutors recommended only community service.
“I simply cannot overlook the trauma, and the nature of this incident, as it involves the victim,” Deschutes County Circuit Judge Randy Miller told defendant Shelton Brian White. “And that’s why you’re being sentenced to what you’re being sentenced to.”
After his sentencing, White, who pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary, was escorted by sheriff’s deputies to the Deschutes County jail.
In a plea deal, the defense and prosecution had agreed to a recommendation of a much lighter sentence of 200 hours of community service, plus other conditions. Judges do not have to go along with recommended sentences.
White’s lawyer, Shelby Thomas, declined to comment.
White was arrested April 24 inside the Valhalla Heights home of retiree Jerry Poole, now 80, and his wife.
The Pooles told investigators they awoke around 5:30 a.m. to the sound of glass shattering downstairs.
Jerry Poole, a retired California Highway Patrol officer, crept with his Smith & Wesson .38 revolver to his basement, where he found White coming through a basement window nude and “rambling incoherently,” according to Errol LaRue, prosecutor for the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
Poole yelled for his intruder to “stop” multiple times, but he didn’t respond, LaRue said. Poole pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Then a second time, and a third.
He’d forgotten to load the gun.
Poole and White struggled for the gun, the homeowner eventually subduing the intruder with repeated strikes to the head with the weapon handle.
The fourth one knocked White to the ground, where Poole held him at gunpoint until Bend Police arrived.
White was taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend.
According to his lawyer, White lived near the Pooles, and on the night in question had been under the influence of methamphetamine possibly laced with a hallucinogen.
“It was very cold that night, and we believe he was just attempting to get into a warm place,” Thomas said.
“This was an isolated incident, and he had no prior criminal history whatsoever.”
Thomas said White has struggled with meth addiction for 10 years.
Jerry Poole briefly addressed the judge at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
“He was extremely high the night he broke our window and broke into our house,” Poole said.
“He caused a lot of trauma to my wife and myself. I think he needs to be in some type of rehabilitation center and get some kind of treatment.”
As part of the plea deal, the district attorney’s office dismissed charges of second-degree criminal mischief and fourth-degree assault.
Because White was given a jail term, Miller did not require him to serve the community service hours he’d agreed to serve.
White declined to address the court when given the chance to speak.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org