Sioux Falls trio who stole over $1K from Mitchell construction site each sentenced to prison
Judge Chris Giles says they turned to stealing in other communities as a way to afford drug addictions
MITCHELL — Three Sioux Falls residents who teamed up to steal over $1,000 worth of items from a construction site in Mitchell have been sentenced to serve time in prison.
Robert Fitzler, Jason Walls and Jessica Sansoucie were recently sentenced for the lengthy list of charges that stemmed from the burglary that took place on Nov. 29 at a construction site where crews with Mueller Lumber Company were building a home in west Mitchell.
Following the burglary, the suspects stole a debit card from a vehicle parked outside M&H gas Station and attempted to pawn some of the stolen items from the construction site. Police say video evidence confirmed Sansoucie had also used a victim’s stolen debit card at various gas stations, though Sansoucie denied knowing the card was stolen.
During Tuesday’s felony court proceedings, Fitzler was sentenced to serve five years in prison for the third-degree burglary charge, while Sansoucie was sentenced to five years in prison with two years suspended. Sansoucie and Fitzler both had a two-year prison sentence suspended for the grand theft charges.
After police brought the three then-suspects in for questioning, Walls allegedly admitted that he and Fitzler committed the burglaries while Sansoucie drove them around Mitchell. Sansoucie claimed she was not aware of what the men were doing, only that they had instructed her where to drive.
While the sentences varied for all three defendants, Judge Chris Giles pointed to their stealing habits as a means to fuel their drug addictions as a major reason for imposing prison time for each of them.
“That’s a line that once you cross it, you deserve punishment,” Giles said to Sansoucie, the last person involved in the incident to be sentenced.
Among the three, Walls, 48, received the stiffest sentence. Walls was sentenced to serve nine years in prison for all three charges combined, including third-degree burglary, possession of a controlled substance and grand theft.
For the third-degree burglary charge, Walls was sentenced to five years in prison with one year suspended. In addition, he was sentenced to five years in prison with two years suspended for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. On the grand theft charge, he was sentenced to serve two years in prison.
Fitzler, Walls and Sansoucie, each were ordered to pay a little over $1,000 in restitution fees for the items stolen from the residential construction site that was being led by Mitchell-based Mueller Lumber Company.
While Fitzler pleaded to enter treatment and avoid prison, Davison County Deputy State’s Attorney Robert O’Keefe’s noted Fitzler’s criminal record is “probably the worst" he's ever seen.
“I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I have some serious mental health issues and drug addiction. I think Stepping Stones and Tim Moon (Mitchell probation officer) would help me the best,” Fitzler said during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
Prior to being sentenced, Sansoucie informed the court she is pregnant. Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miksimins recommended Sansoucie receive a five-year prison sentence, noting authorities could help protect the unborn child if Sansoucie remains incarcerated during her pregnancy.