PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) A Fort Pierre man was sentenced to seven years in prison for Grand Theft and for violating probation on a previous crime of Identity Theft. 26-year-old Joshua Link was indicted for felony charges of Third Degree Burglary and Grand Theft earlier this year and also faced a misdemeanor charge of Intentional Damage to Property. The charges were the result of a December burglary at the Fresh Start Convenience Store at Sioux and Central Avenues. In court Tuesday, he pleaded no contest for Grand Theft. He had also admitted violating probation for a previous crime of Identity Theft-for which he had been given a suspended two year sentence.
Before sentencing was pronounced, Link’s lawyer told Judge John Brown that his client had made mistakes and expected to be punished. He also asked that the judge order that the two sentences be served at the same time. Link also spoke and said that he was ready to accept his consequences and expressed a willingness to do what he has to-so he can better himself.
States Attorney Wendy Kloeppner indicated that she didn’t see any other sentence option for Link than to spend prison time for the two felonies.
Judge Brown told Link that he had created serious problems for himself. He said surveillance video showed that Link-who was a previous employee of the Fresh Start-had gained access to the convenience store by breaking a window and took money from the safe. The judge also said Link had violated various conditions that had been part of the previous suspended sentence for Identity Theft. Brown ordered that Link spend two years in prison for the ID Theft and was given credit for 37 days. For the Grand Theft charge, Link was given five years in the penitentiary, which is in addition to the two year sentence. Link was given credit for 139 days he has been jailed for the theft charge. He was also ordered to pay court costs, attorney fees and restitution of $3244.77 for cash and checks that were stolen and for damage done to the store.
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