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Habitual offender gets 36 years for theft at college
Thursday, October 25, 2012 11:00 AM
A Scott County man who was found guilty of burglary last month was sentenced to 36 years in prison Thursday.
A 12-member jury convicted Eric R. Rasnick, 32, of burglary and theft for a break-in at Wiley Hall on the Hanover College campus in September 2011. He had taken a laptop and several cameras from a dorm room.
Rasnick received 18 years for the burglary charge. Rasnick also admitted to being a habitual offender, which added 18 years to his sentence.
The biggest reason for the lengthy sentence was Rasnick's criminal history. Prosecutor Chad Lewis had three police officers from three different agencies testify about their dealings with Rasnick.
In all, Rasnick was suspected to have been involved in at least 34 burglaries across southeastern Indiana, according to Tim Denby, a detective with the state police.
Records with the Scott County Sheriff's Department showed Rasnick had been arrested 18 times over a 14-year period.
Of those arrests, Rasnick had been convicted on eight cases - five of which were felony cases - and served five years in jail. Four of Rasnick's previous convictions had been for burglaries.
"He is a burglar. This is his career," Lewis said during the hearing. Lewis requested a 42-year sentence.
Judge Ted Todd said other factors he took into consideration when handing down the sentence was that Rasnick failed to appear twice while his case was pending, he committed this offense while he was on parole, he was arrested after being released from jail on bond and he would be unlikely to respond to a short term in prison.
James Spencer, Rasnick's attorney, said Rasnick has a substance abuse problem, and this burglary was the direct result of drinking alcohol. Spencer asked for a 20-year sentence.
After the hearing, Rasnick said he intended to appeal the court's decision. Spencer was appointed to represent Rasnick in the appeal.
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