Skip to content
Home » 'Not an easy decision': Judge denies probation for recovering addict facing 18 felonies – Ames Tribune

'Not an easy decision': Judge denies probation for recovering addict facing 18 felonies – Ames Tribune

A Des Moines man who led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through four central Iowa counties in a stolen Maserati was sentenced to 35 years in prison Monday. 
A state trooper clocked John Burgoyne, 45, of Des Moines, at nearly 100 mph March 25, 2021, leading to a high-speed chase through Jasper, Marshall and Polk counties and ending in his arrest in Story County 2½ hours later. 
The chase resulted in charges of eluding police, operating while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance. But Monday’s sentencing was connected to 18 felonies, among them first-degree theft and multiple counts of identity theft resulting in tens of thousands of stolen dollars.
As part of a plea agreement, Burgoyne admitted to 11 felony charges, which carry a total maximum sentence of 95 years. 
He also faces charges in two other Iowa counties and in Colorado. Over the last decade, courts have found Burgoyne guilty of a number of other felonies, including theft, forgery and domestic assault.
Iowa District Court Judge Coleman McAllister said Tuesday’s decision was not an easy one. Burgoyne’s attorney Nicholas Bailey said the last year has seen his client for the first time taking seriously his recovery from a long addiction to methamphetamines. 
“It’s been obvious throughout to both the state and myself that these offenses are all wrapped up in substance abuse,” Bailey said. “I think that what’s different than any other time that he’s been before this court is that he now not only has a purpose for himself to remain sober, but a purpose for the community at large, and a purpose for others.”
The plea agreement outlined a suspended 65-year sentence, initially placing Burgoyne on probation, but McAllister ultimately ruled against probation, sentencing him to a 35-year indeterminate prison term with a three-year minimum incarceration.
Bailey told the court Burgoyne has attended addiction recovery meetings daily and the Des Moines sobriety community reported he has been an active member, at times leading meetings and mentoring others. 
Burgoyne has also been enrolled at Des Moines Area Community College, where he began a psychology course. He told the court his goal is to become a drug counselor. 
“When you speak of my past, and you have every single right to, that was a person that was sick. That was a person that didn’t care about his life. I wanted to die,” Burgoyne told the court. “I can’t do this for you (McAllister). I can’t do this for my lawyer. I can’t do this for my wife. For the first time in a while, I’m doing this for myself.”
Victims of one of Burgoyne’s burglary attempts said they were “shocked and disappointed” that probation was even recommended.
During a victim statement, Brenda Faye said she and her husband can still feel Burgoyne’s presence in their home after a burglary resulted in two stolen vehicles and damage to a mobile home that has yet to be fully repaired. 
The incident took hours of time from the couple during a period in which Faye’s father was hospitalized and later died. She told the court the time lost with her father can never be forgiven or replaced. 
“Sadness had turned to anger,” Faye said. “Why do I have to clean up after the defendant? This is his mess.” 
In addition to his sentence, Burgoyne will need to pay restitution in an amount that will be decided at a future date. 
McAllister’s decision also took into account that the recent charges took place while Burgoyne was under probation, he said. The pre-sentence investigation also recommended incarceration. 
The ruling resulted in an emotional courtroom, with relief from the victims present and dismay from Burgoyne’s loved ones.
“This is not an easy decision for the court because the parties are here asking the court to adopt the agreement. They’re both experienced lawyers who I rely upon and trust,” McAllister said. “The court concludes that a suspended prison sentence is not appropriate and the court will not do so.”
Danielle Gehr is a politics and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at [email protected], phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.