Two men charged separately with breaking into vehicles in Davison County were sentenced Tuesday, both citing substance abuse as a factor behind their crimes.
John Clairmont, 21, of Howard, was convicted of grand theft for stealing a Chevy Silverado in April. Dee Jay Ring, 31, was arrested in June in the parking lot of an East Havens Avenue business for reportedly breaking into two vehicles, and he was convicted of criminal entry of a motor vehicle.
Davison County Deputy State's Attorney Bob O'Keefe recommended that Clairmont be sentenced to the full five years allowable for a Class 5 felony, arguing that Clairmont's criminal history makes him a threat to the community. Clairmont was recently given a suspended eight-year prison sentence in Minnehaha County, also for grand theft.
Clairmont pleaded guilty to the charge on Aug. 6, and one count of criminal entry of a motor vehicle, a Class 1 misdemeanor, was dismissed. Prior to Clairmont's sentence being pronounced, all parties present said Clairmont's criminal history is linked to an alcohol issue, which Judge Chris Giles said has led to previous problems on probation.
"It's very clear, Mr. Clairmont, that you have an alcohol addiction," Giles said. "... You have a history of just violating people's rights or their property with no regard to how it affects them."
At the Davison County Public Safety Center, Clairmont's attorney, Dava Wermers, indicated Clairmont had not requested bond during his time in jail because he is seeking treatment options.
"I am trying to get better," Clairmont said Tuesday.
Giles sentenced Clairmont to five years in prison with three years suspended and credit for 27 days he'd served in jail, concurrent with his Minnehaha County sentence. He's required to complete his GED as a condition of three years of his sentence being suspended.
Ring was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence Tuesday afternoon for the misdemeanor he committed earlier this summer. He was also sentenced for a probation violation involving a charge of which he was convicted less than a month before his most recent arrest.
For that charge of third-degree burglary, a Class 5 felony, Ring was given a five-year suspended prison sentence with credit for 65 days served and two years probation. He's required to complete the drug treatment program in which he's currently participating.
"I'm just doing what I need to do, I guess. It feels good to be sober," Ring said when asked if he had any comments before his sentence was given.