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Willis pleads guilty; will serve three years of hard labor

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By: ELIZABETH WEST
Associate Editor

By: ELIZABETH WEST
Associate Editor

On Thursday, December 1, 2016, Matthew Willis appeared before Judge Gary Ortego to plead guilty to 11 different charges.
Willis pled guilty to five different simple burglary charges and for each he was sentenced to 10 years at hard labor with seven years suspended and five years of active supervised probation (ASP).
The Pine Prairie man also pled guilty to two illegal possessions of stolen things valued at $1,500 or more charges. For one of the charges Willis was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor with seven years suspended and five years of ACP, while he receivevd five years of hard labor with two years suspended for the other and five years of ACP.
For theft of goods valued at $750 or more but less than $5,000, Willis’s guilty plea earned him five years of hard labor with two years suspended and five years of ACP.
Willis also pled guilty to two simple criminal damage to property charges where the cost of damages were more than $500 but less than $50,000.
For these two charges, Willis was sentenced to two years of hard labor with two years suspended and two years of ACP.
The final charge that Willis pled guilty to was aggravated battery. He received three years of hard labor.
During the reading of his sentences, Willis showed little remorse, which prompted Ortego to remind him of how serious the crimes are that he has committed.
Ortego said, “I don’t want to hear anymore laughing while I read the sentences because this is a lot. You went into people’s homes, and you could have been shot doing that. This court would normally not accept a plea from someone with all of these charges but because you will be serving time, I am allowing it.”
Special conditions of Willis’s sentence requires that he stay away from all of the victims.
Willis will serve all of his sentences concurrently, or at the same time, which means he will serve a total of three years at hard labor.

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