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Weston man reaches plea deal in church burglaries

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18 year old Ryan Hull of Weston (center) sits in court, awaiting a plea and sentencing hearing to burglary charges, October 3 2012
18 year old Ryan Hull of Weston (center) sits in court, awaiting a plea and sentencing hearing to burglary charges, October 3 2012

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - A Weston man charged in connection with a series of church burglaries in August has plead out to the charges.

18 year old Ryan Hull was sentenced this morning in Marathon County court after pleading guilty to four counts of burglary and 2 counts of criminal damage to property. Judge Mike Moran imposed a 1 year jail sentence with 6 years of probation in the case. "These are churches where people worship, and what you did disrupted that. This court is not in charge of forgiveness, but they are. I hope you realize that." Hull had been facing 51 years in prison on the charges.

Defense attorney Peter Prusinski says Hull has been cooperating with prosecutors and police since the time of his arrest. "He essentially confessed to the crime at the time of his arrest." Assistant district attorney Lance Leonhard says he's happy with the plea. "He's been nothing but forthcoming, and has taken steps to meet with each of the victims." Hull has already sent out letters of apology to the churches and has been meeting with the pastors and members of the congregations to talk and discuss the future with them.

The other three men accused in the crimes are goign through court proceedings. 18-year-old Collin Pfingsten, 18-year-old Derik Kraft and 19-year-old Dustin Groff are all pleading not guilty to the charges at this time.

The burglaries happened at Bethany Baptist Church at 6601 Alderson St, Mount Olive Church at 205 Alderson St.; St. Agnes Church at 6101 Zinzer St., St. Mark’s Catholic Parish at 602 Military Road in Rothschild and New Hope Community Church, E1045 Highway J in the Town of Easton.

The burglars gained access to the churches by breaking windows. Everest Metro Police Department detectives recovered some of the stolen property. They also impounded a vehicle as evidence.

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