|Rosas-Villegas (click for larger version)|
April 01, 2014 | 09:50 AMELKHORN — A teenager who was involved in a brazen armed robbery in November 2012 was sentenced March 26 to 10 years in prison.
On Nov. 6, 2012, the night of the presidential election, Marcos Rosas-Villegas of Lake Geneva rushed into a woman’s apartment with two other juveniles and ransacked it.
Rosas pleaded guilty to a felony charge of armed robbery.
Rosas was 16 at the time of the robbery and is now 17.
Judge David Reddy also sentenced Rosas to 10 years of extended supervision, but found him eligible for prison programs that, upon successful completion, could lead to an early release.
Prior to the robbery, Angel Ortiz of Lake Geneva was sent into the apartment to buy marijuana. The 17-year-old smoked pot with people inside the apartment and then sent a text message to the other teens that let them know it was “cool” to break into the apartment.
Ortiz had his accomplices tie him up during the break-in to mask his involvement in the Crime.
“Three young men came in wearing masks,” Assistant District Attorney Haley Rea said. “One had a knife and the other had a pipe.”
At the time of the home invasion, two children, ages 4 and 1, were in the home.
Rosas denied having a weapon when he entered the apartment and also denied that he tied up the victims. However, one of the other intruders said Rosas was armed and was the one who tied up the victims.
After the robbery, when police questioned Ortiz they were able to determine he was part of planning the Crime.
On Dec. 18, Ortiz was sentenced to five years in prison and eight years of extended supervision by Judge Phillip Koss.
Ortiz is an illegal immigrant and will likely be deported after he finishes his prison sentence.
The other two intruders, who were 13 and 14 at the time of the robbery, have faced proceedings in closed-door juvenile court. During Ortiz’s sentencing hearing, Koss said both the 13- and 14-year-old spent time in a juvenile detention center.
During Rosas sentencing hearing, defense attorney Donna Kuchler, said one of the juveniles is free from custody and is under supervision.
Rea asked Reddy to sentence Rosas to between 10 and 12 years in prison. She said that Rosas’ involvement was different than Ortiz’s role.
“Ortiz didn’t have a weapon, the defendant did,” Rea said. “Ortiz didn’t drag the victim around the house asking for money, the defendant did.”
Rea also pointed out that Rosas “didn’t perform well on bond.” While free on bond, Rosas was arrested for shoplifting from Walmart.
He also was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct because he got into a fight in the Walworth County jail.
“In burglary cases, victims are traumatized when people go into their homes and they are not present,” Rea said. “Here we have weapons and people busting down the door, and it was in front of children.”
Kuchler asked Reddy to impose and stay a prison sentence.
In an imposed and stayed sentence, a defendant is automatically sent to prison if the defendant’s probation is revoked.
“I think a full picture needs to be made here,” Kuchler said. “(The victim) was selling marijuana to children.”
Kuchler also pointed out that the 4-year-old talked about the “bad smoking” that occurred in the home.
Kuchler argued that Ortiz, not Rosas, was the mastermind of the Crime. Ortiz knew the victims, she said.
“Sure, he is an adult in the eyes of the law, but he is a child,” Kuchler said of Rosas.
When Rosas spoke, he apologized for his actions.
“I wish I could turn back the hands of time,” he said.
Rosas also asked Reddy to consider his age.
“I’m young still even though it says I’m an adult,” he said. “As an adult, I take responsibly. As a teen, I depend on my family.”