UPDATE: Third Teen Sentenced for Role in Church Burglaries

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

Three of the four teens charged with breaking into churches last summer in Marathon County has been sentenced as the case comes to a close.

Derik Kraft, 18, was convicted of six charges Tuesday in Marathon County Court. Judge Michael Moran gave Kraft a choice in regard to his sentencing. He can either spend 127 days in jail if he chooses to participate in a community conference with the victims, or 157 days in jail if he does not.

As conditions to his sentence, he must write letters of apology to the victims and the community, stay sober, and perform 150 hours of community service during the next 18 month.

Collin Pfingsten, 18, received a similar sentenced in November. If he agreed to participate in a community conference with victims, his nine month jail sentence would be reduced to eight months.

In October, Ryan Hull, 18, was found guilty of four counts of burglary and two counts of criminal damage to property after reaching a plea deal. Nine other charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to one year in jail, with 45 days credit.

Dustin Groff, 19, pleaded not guilty to eight charges, including burglary in November. He'll return to court in April for status conference.

Investigators say in August, Mount Olive, Bethany Baptist, St. Mark's, New Hope Community, Highland Community, and St. Agnes Church were burglarized. In each case, police say someone 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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