Prison ordered in burglary case

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County man who sought refuge in a Sandpoint condominium after being caught red-handed burglarizing a nearby home was ordered Monday to serve up to five years in prison.

Donald Robert Rasor will have to serve at least two years before he can be considered for parole, according to the terms of the sentence imposed by 1st District Judge Steve Verby.

Rasor, 53, was charged with burglary and attempted grand theft. A Sandpoint couple returned home last June to find Rasor in their home. Rasor fled and the male half of the couple followed to Condo del Sol, where he managed to shake his pursuer.

As Sandpoint Police hunted for Rasor, two teenage girls discovered him in their unit, prompting them to flee and alert police. Rasor was found inside eating a peach and was arrested.

In addition the theft and burglary charges, Rasor faced an enhanced sentence due to prior burglary convictions in Bonner County and convictions in Stevens County, Wash., for possession of a stolen vehicle and attempting to elude law enforcement.

Rasor was to be tried last October, but entered into a plea agreement with the state shortly after a jury was seated to hear his case. In exchange for pleas of guilt, the state agreed to drop the persistent violator sentencing enhancement.

Such an enhancement would add no less than five years and up to life in prison  to whatever sentences were handed down on the underlying charges.

Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Hanlon recommended a two- to five-year term and nearly $5,600 in restitution. Public Defender Dan Taylor urged for retained jurisdiction, also known as a rider.

When jurisdiction is retained, a defendant spends up to a year in prison before a decision is made to release the person on probation or order further incarceration.

Taylor argued that Rasor has never been afforded a rider, but Verby declined to retain jurisdiction due to Rasor’s prior convictions and his inability to steer clear of trouble, court records indicate.

Verby said a straight prison term would protect society by denying the opportunity to commit additional crimes.

Prior to being sentenced, Rasor said he had relapsed on drugs and alcohol at the time of his crimes. He apologized to his victims and expressed hope they would forgive him, according to court documents.

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