2nd McKinley School burglar gets deferred sentence

2014-01-10T14:19:00Z 2014-02-27T08:38:04Z 2nd McKinley School burglar gets deferred sentenceGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
January 10, 2014 2:19 pm  • 

The second of two teens who broke into McKinley Elementary School in 2012 in an attempt to steal laptop computers received a deferred sentence Friday in Yellowstone County District Court.

Tad Vincent Warren, 19, appeared before District Judge Ingrid Gustafson, who imposed a six-year deferred sentence for felony burglary. She also gave him a six-month suspended sentence to the county jail and ordered him to a pay $150 fine for misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.

Warren and Christopher Wayne Lone Elk, 19, broke into McKinley, at 820 N. 31st St., on Nov. 24, 2012, and tried to steal 14 laptops from the school.

Both pleaded guilty last year to felony burglary charges. Warren also admitted to the paraphernalia charge after officers found a marijuana pipe where he had been sitting in the patrol car after taking him to the county jail.

At sentencing, Warren told Gustafson that he's recently been hired back at his old job working at a fast-food restaurant and hopes to earn his GED.

In giving Warren a deferred sentence, Gustafson deviated from a plea agreement that called for six years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections, with all six years suspended.

She said his criminal history and behavior as a juvenile, including dropping out of school and a spotty work history, concerned her, but that she was giving him the chance to prove her wrong.

"This is your opportunity and it's up to you to make something of it," she said. "If you don't, I'll probably be seeing a lot of you in the future."

Last October, then-District Judge Susan Watters gave Old Elk a five-year suspended sentence for his role in the incident.

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