UPDATE: Suspect in Weston-area Church Burglaries Avoids Trial

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

One of four teens accused of breaking into six churches in Marathon County in August, has reached a plea deal with prosecutors, avoiding a jury trial.

Ryan Hull, 18, was found guilty of four counts of burglary and two counts of criminal damage to property. Nine other charges were dismissed.

Judge Michael Moran sentenced Hull one year in jail and six years probation. Hull will be allowed Huber privileges, and can apply for the electronic monitoring program after 45 days in jail. He must also write letters to the victims and was ordered to pay $5,972.75 in restitution.

Another teen charged in the crime, Collin Pfingsten, 18, has also pleaded not guilty. Dustin Groff, 19, and Derik Kraft, 18, have yet to enter pleas to the charges, but will return to court in the coming weeks for clerical court proceedings.

Investigators say Mount Olive, Bethany Baptist, St. Mark's, New Hope Community, Highland Community, and St. Agnes Church. In each case, police say someone broke in and took money or other property.

Everest Metro Police Department detectives recovered some of the property stolen from the churches through two search warrants at a motel in Rothschild. They also seized a vehicle as evidence.

Patrol Sergeant Mark Klemm told NewsChannel 7 in August, that warrant came following a tip about the case. Klemm says that tip is what really got the case rolling, eventually leading to the arrest of all four men.

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