Belfield man sentenced for theftA Belfield man was sentenced to a little more than a year in jail for stealing a Ford F450 truck and causing property damage at a golf course in Stark County’s countryside in August.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
A Belfield man was sentenced to a little more than a year in jail for stealing a Ford F450 truck and causing property damage at a golf course in Stark County’s countryside in August.
Lowell F. Kern, Jr., 37, pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to Class B felony theft of property and was sentenced Monday in Southwest District Court in Dickinson Monday to 10 years with 8-1/2 years suspended and will receive 44 days of credit for time already served.
He will be placed on supervised probation for five years upon his release from jail and will have to pay $1,300 in court fines and fees, in addition to restitution which has not been determined.
Judge Zane Anderson said he could have imposed a longer sentence for the charge, but didn’t because of “undue hardship” a longer sentence could have caused Kern’s dependents, which include 10 children and one stepchild.
Kern will have to report to the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center in Dickinson at 10 a.m. Feb. 11 to begin serving his sentence.
“I’m getting too old to get into trouble,” Kern said in court.
Kern’s attorney, Daniel James Borgen, asked that Kern’s $525 fee for a court-appointed attorney be waived.
“I think the money is best spent on restitution,” he said, but Anderson the request.
Stark County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Hope said the pre-sentencing investigation conducted by the North Dakota Department of Corrections indicated that addiction issues may be part of Kern’s issues.
Borgen added that his client does have addiction problems, and he has reported been clean since his release.
Anderson ordered Kern to undergo an assessment and be ordered to treatment for drug and alcohol issues, stating that he felt that treatment in a structured setting during his incarceration would be good for Kern.
If Kern’s treatment is successful, Anderson said could be paroled.
Hope said Kern may or may not be a good candidate for probation upon his release from jail after serving his sentence.
“He’s probably a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10,” Hope said. “He’s had mixed results on probation before. They’re not horrible or great.”
Borgen believed the supervised probation would help Kern, though.
“One thing to consider is that the older a person is to succeed,” Borgen said. “(Kern) is 37 and the court, if it does not work, will have up to nine years of incarceration to hang over his head.”