A judge on Thursday recommended an Evansville teenager who burglarized 22 cabins near Alcova Reservoir be sent to the state’s boot camp for young offenders. If he does not successfully complete the program, he would spend four to eight years in prison.
Christopher Wallace, who was 17 when he was arrested in 2016, appeared in court dressed in orange for his sentencing hearing. He spent nearly a year in jail as his case made its way through the court.
Wallace was found guilty on 22 felony burglary counts earlier this year in relation to a string of burglaries and property damage complaints in the Pelican Ridge area over one 2016 weekend.
As Wallace waited to be sentenced, his only visible motion was his right thumb playing with a corner on the lectern behind which he stood. He declined to speak when Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking gave him the opportunity.
In sentencing Wallace, she followed the joint recommendation of prosecutors and Wallace’s attorney, public defender Robert Oldham. The sentence calls for Wallace to attend a rehabilitative boot camp in Newcastle. If he successfully completes the program, he will be eligible for early release. If he does not, he will serve the full sentence: four to eight years in prison, with credit for 296 days served.
In requesting the boot camp program, Oldham said his client had made “a very, very stupid decision,” and then continued to do so. He described Wallace as withdrawn and sad, saying Wallace had not been communicating with his “supportive” step-mother. Oldham said he hoped the boot camp would give his client self-esteem so he could function in society.
The judge noted that although a court-ordered pre-sentencing investigation recommended probation, she was disinclined to sentence Wallace to probation alone due to the number of crimes he had committed. Wilking asked Wallace to take the program seriously, telling him “don’t bow your neck at it.” She warned him not to challenge rules there or run the risk of getting kicked out of the program, which would ensure he serves the four to eight years in prison.
Wallace was also ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.
In an apparent reference to Adrian “Joseph” Sixfeathers, prosecutor Michael Schafer said Thursday the co-defendent in the case was “still on the lam.”
Wallace had told investigators he and Sixfeathers stole guns and televisions, among other things, according to court documents.