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Lincoln County burglar sentenced to prison, must pay nearly $50,000 in restitutionSubmitted: 12/11/2017

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MERRILL -
A Tomahawk man charged with 12 felonies from a string of burglaries will spend the better part of the next decade in prison.

Jon Schenk, 45, was sentenced to seven years in prison in Lincoln County Court Monday morning. Schenk chose not to say much during his hearing, but judge Robert Russell had plenty to tell him.

"Here we are again," Russell said to Schenk.


Schenk's string of burglaries date back to February. Schenk used his job as a newspaper delivery man to scout homes and churches in Tomahawk and Merrill. Over two months, he returned to break in and steal items that included cash, gift cards, and jewelry totaling nearly $50,000.

"When a crime like this is committed on one or two victims in a small community, the entire community feels that violation," Russell said.

Russell pointed to one of Schenk's victims--an elderly widow--as a prime example of the damage he caused.

"That feeling of security that Mrs. Cook felt in her own home... that's gone forever. She'll never be the same again," Russell said.

Police searched Schenk's Tomahawk apartment in April and arrested him soon after. Schenk admitted to all the burglaries, saying he had gotten into using cocaine and marijuana last winter.

"Things just kind of made a perfect storm for him where he got back into his behavior, and it snowballed at that point," Schenk's attorney, Jessica Schuster, said.

Schenk kept his record fairly clean after he went to prison for a 1999 Lincoln County burglary case. He was arrested for marijuana possession in 2013, but ended up on probation after that offense.

"A lot of time passed [after his 1999 arrest,]" District Attorney Galen Bayne-Allison said. "Maybe Mr. Schenk could be trusted again. You know, maybe he's a good member of our community, a good citizen again. And now he's lost that trust."

Bayne-Allison conceded that Schenk doesn't seem to be violent, but Russell said Schenk will need to get treatment and rehab in prison.

"If you come out of the prison system the way you went in, the court hasn't accomplished anything," Russell said.

Russell accepted the joint recommendation of seven years in prison and 10 years extended supervision, while dismissing but reading in eight of the felonies.

"You're not going to get off easy here, Mr. Schenk," Russell said. "You're going to go to prison, and when you are released to extended supervision, you're going to get to work and start making these restitution payments."

Schenk will get 114 days credit for time he spent in the Lincoln County Jail.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/11/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We talk to Governor Scott walker about the bill he signed today that lifts Wisconsin's moratorium on gold and silver mining.

We'll take you to a sentencing hearing in Lincoln County where a judge had plenty to say to a man convicted of a dozen burglaries of homes and churches.

And an orthodontic office in Rhinelander is organizing this year's "Hope and Healing" thank you card program for wounded veterans. We talk to the orthodontist who is organizing this year's program.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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