Second man sentenced for role in burglaries
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | December 20,2012
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Two brothers from Cavendish have now both been sentenced for their roles in a wave of business and residential burglaries that took place in surrounding towns in February and March.
Mitchell Horton, 27, pleaded guilty earlier this month to four felony burglary counts and was ordered to serve four to seven years behind bars. In exchange for the pleas, the state agreed to drop more than a dozen additional charges that had originally been filed against him as a result of the same spree.
On Friday, Mitchell’s younger brother, Matthew Horton, 23, entered his own guilty pleas to two felony burglary counts for which he was sentenced to serve 16 to 18 months in jail.
Although drugs were not specifically mentioned in any of the affidavits, Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney Rhonda Sheffield nonetheless pointed to drugs as the reason behind what she characterized as a disjointed and ill-considered crime wave that saw businesses from West Windsor to Springfield broken into for things ranging from jars of pocket change and a lamp up to thousands of dollars worth of copper wire.
“Drugs are killing our community, Judge,” Sheffield said to Judge Robert Gerety during Mitchell Horton’s sentencing.
Sheffield pointed out that Mitchell Horton had an infant daughter in the back of the courtroom whom he had not really gotten to be with since she’d been born after his arrest and his subsequent pre-trial detention.
Police zeroed in on the brothers, whom they suspect did not act alone in several of the instances, after a break-in at the Springfield Town Highway Garage where vending machines were looted and several unissued booklets of state vehicle inspection stickers were stolen.
Just two days after the highway department was burglarized, Springfield Police Officer Anthony Moriglioni spotted Mitchell Horton driving past in a truck that was missing the rear bumper, had a shock hanging loose and registration plate that was attached by wrapped wires yet which also had a brand new inspection sticker. Finding that combination odd, Moriglioni stopped Horton and determined that the sticker was one of those that had been stolen from the town. The case against the brothers unraveled further after a break-in at MasTec in Proctorsville where a large amount of new copper wire on wooden spools was taken.
Investigators discovered that the brothers had brought in a matching batch of copper wire to a recycling center just days later and a subsequent search of their trailer turned up the empty reels and other items taken during the burglaries.