GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The man charged with burning down a graphics and signage shop and breaking into more than 10 stores in Ottawa County may get a new trial.
Shane William Wheeler appeared in Ottawa County Circuit Court Monday to be sentenced for a fall 2017 crime spree, during which he is accused of burning down Graphix Signs and Embroidery with his teenage accomplice, David Anthony Pelon.
Wheeler pleaded no contest to the Ottawa County crimes last Month.
The 49-year-old was sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison in February for breaking into three Kent County businesses with Pelon. The teen was sentenced to 240 days in jail and three years probation in Ottawa County.
They were playing Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to themselves, said a victim of the Ottawa County thefts in court. The man said Wheeler and Pelon caused serious emotional damage to his family.
"My youngest son has passed away, and you had played a part in that because he suffered from depression, and it really tore him up," the victim told Wheeler. "It really tore us up that someone could break into our buildings, steal stuff...and [we] felt totally violated."
Wheeler broke down during the victim's testimony and apologized before sentencing.
"I do regret what you've gone through, and I regret your loss," Wheeler said. "Just be strong, and I am so sorry."
The initial plea agreement called for a sentence consistent with the Kent County crimes, said Judge Jon Hulsing.
"After reviewing the pre-sentence report and listening to the victim and listening to the allocution, the court must oblige you that I will not follow the plea agreement," Hulsing said.
The judge gave Wheeler the option of withdrawing his plea and having a trial. Wheeler and his attorney will appear in court on Monday, April 22, with a decision.
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