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Lake Andes man gets jail, probation, 24/7 program for co-op burglary

LAKE ANDES -- A 21-year-old man was sentenced Monday to five years of probation and 90 days in jail for his involvement in a burglary at the Lake Andes Farmers Co-Op in November.

Albert Fischer was arrested Nov. 3 and indicted by a Charles Mix County grand jury on Nov. 7 on charges of third-degree burglary, intentional damage to property and providing alcohol to a person older than 18 but younger than 21.

He pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to a suspended five-year prison term, 90 days in jail and ordered to pay $800 in restitution by Judge Bruce Anderson.

Fischer was given credit for 86 days served.

Charles Mix County State's Attorney Pam Hein said the state would not oppose the suspended prison term if all restitution is paid. The restitution will be paid jointly between Fischer and another man involved in the burglary.

According to court documents, Fischer and his codefendant caused more than $400 but less than $1,000 worth of damage to Lake Andes Farmers Co-Op property in the incident.

Fischer's attorney, Tim Whalen, of Lake Andes, said his client consumed a "vast amount of alcohol before the crime."

According to Hein, Fischer's blood-alcohol content was 0.265 about two hours after his arrest. The legal limit for driving in South Dakota is 0.08.

"I dang near got drunk reading the paragraph," Whalen said, referring to Fischer's presentence report outlining what he claimed to have consumed the night of the incident.

"He's drinking way too much," Whalen said. "It's leading him down the road to a life of crime and a life in the penitentiary."

Whalen asked Anderson to include treatment for alcohol addiction as part of Fischer's sentence.

"I messed up," Fischer told the court. "I just want to get back on track."

Fischer was ordered to participate in the state 24/7 Sobriety program for at least one year while on probation.