Three out of the five individuals charged in the December 2015 home invasion and beating of a local elderly couple have been sentenced.
Daquen Eisnnicher, 20, was sentenced today for his role in the December 2015 home invasion in Lander that left two elderly locals severely injured. He will serve 5-8 years in prison, but Judge Norman E. Young made a recommendation for his inclusion in the bootcamp program.
Jean Harris, daughter of victim Donna Harris, began the hearing by reading a statement on behalf of her mother. She recounted the attack that left her and her husband with multiple broken bones, which for Donna led to a heart attack several days after. The statement went on to say that the family doesn't feel safe at home any longer, that the victims are both depressed and that fear and worry are constants in their lives now.
The state characterized the crime as "senseless and brutal." He went on to recount Daquen's lengthy history of substance abuse and said it was really only a matter of time before before something bad happened, and then it ultimately did in the form of this case. The state asked for the maximum of 6-8 years for Daquen's guilty plea to Unlawful Entry into an Occupied Structure.
The defense lobbied for something lighter, agreeing that Daquen needed serious treatment, but that he could indeed be rehabilitated to the point that he could become a contributing member of society. The defense noted other, seemingly more serious cases locally, where the defendant received a lighter sentence that what the state was asking for in this one.
Judge Young agreed with the "extreme seriousness" of the crime and told the room that he sympathizes with the victims, having a personal family experience very similar. He went on to say that he had to weigh the victims' righteous anger with the need to rehabilitate Eisnnicher, and that that was how he came to the decision. He noted that as much as he'd like to see Eisnnicher receive the treatment he needs, there is no guarantee of it due to the state's budget cuts.
Eisnnicher's brother, Mark, one of the reported instigators, has previously been sentenced to 5-7 years.
Brittney Church, another individual charged in this case was sentenced yesterday (August 4) to 3-7 years in prison. The 236 days she's already served will count towards her sentence.
Jean Harris, daughter of victim Donna Harris, read the statement on behalf of her mother to the court again. She reiterated that the family doesn't feel safe at home any longer, that the victims are both depressed and that fear and worry are constants in their lives now.
The defense lobbied for a lighter sentence to include probation, noting that Church had been cooperative and helped the state during their investigation. The defense noted this was her first adult criminal conviction, and also spoke of Church's difficult upbringing and relationship with the Eisnnichers, giving the court of glimpse of who she is.
Curtis Eisnnicher, another individual involved in this case recently entered a change of plea. He pleaded guilty to the Unlawful Entry Into an Occupied Structure. The previous charges of two counts of Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Assault and Battery and the Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault and Battery were dismissed. A sentencing hearing for Curtis Eisnnicher is set for September 22, 2016.
36-year-old Wade Wheeler recently entered a guilty plea to the following charges: Attempting to deliver a controlled substance; Accessory after the fact to unlawful entry into an occupied structure; and Burglary. Wheeler's sentencing hearing date is yet to be set.