WILKES-BARRE – A Shickshinny man charged with breaking into a borough home battered by the September 2011 flood and causing additional damage was sentenced Thursday to 10 to 20 months in county prison.
Richard Jason Wisniewski, 43, of Browns Road, was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge David Lupas on a single count of criminal trespassing.
Wisniewski, who pleaded guilty to the charge in June, must also pay half of a total of $13,585 in restitution along with his co-defendant in the case, Michael Wido.
According to court papers, Kathy Mason reported to police her home had been damaged by the flood and she returned to retrieve some items on Sept. 11, 2011.
Mason found the front door and garage doors open, with empty beer cans strewn about. A man who was with Mason alerted her that most of the copper piping had been removed from the home, as well as a water meter and propane heater.
Police said water was flowing from a wall where the pipes were cut.
Police said a footprint nearby matched the footprints inside Mason’s home, and that a lighter and cigarette case found were recognized by Mason’s friend, Alvin Cole, as belonging to Wisniewski.
About two months later, police spoke with Michael Wido at the county prison, who said he and Wisniewski broke into Mason’s home that night and said that Wisniewski was the one who took items from the home.
Wido, 44, of North Main Street, Shickshinny, pleaded guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge and was sentenced in October 2012 to nine to 18 months in prison as well as one year probation.
In March, Wido was released from prison on early parole and ordered to participate in the county’s Day Reporting Center.