I-94 Mart robber sentenced to five years in prison, five years probation

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — A 21-year-old Eau Claire man who pleaded guilty in November to the armed robbery of the I-94 Mart in the Town of Elk Mound has been sentenced to ten years of prison and probation.

The Honorable Rod Smeltzer sentenced Jordan R. Dickinsen January 11 in Dunn County Circuit Court to five years of initial confinement and five years of extended supervision.

At the November plea hearing, Judge Smeltzer dismissed three misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon.

Dickinsen currently is serving a two-year prison term in Green Bay for a series of thefts from vehicles and garages in Dunn, Chippewa and Eau Claire counties.

Two other young men also are charged in connection with the I-94 Mart armed robbery: Christopher L. Bollom, 20, of Eau Claire and Brandon L. Hurlburt, 17, of Cadott.

Dickinsen also is charged with burglary, theft and criminal damage to property in Chippewa County.

Kerry Kelm, Dickinsen’s attorney, said the Chippewa County case would be resolved the following week.

Dickinsen has already served one year of the two-year prison term in Green Bay, she noted.

40 years

The felony charge of armed robbery carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, said Andrew Maki, Dunn County assistant district attorney.

Dickinsen’s co-defendant in the case pointed a firearm at the clerk of the I-94 Mart, and it was terrifying experience for the clerk, he said.

Dickinsen has 16 prior convictions and has been placed on probation twice, and each time, probation has been revoked, Maki said.

In addition, Dickinsen currently is $15,000 in debt and has a history of heavy drug and alcohol use and a history of selling a variety of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, he said.

The defendant’s risk of re-offending is high, Maki said.

Dickinsen acknowledges that armed robbery is a serious offense and that the young woman who was the clerk feared for her life, Kelm told the court.

Kelm said she hoped Dickinsen was one of those offenders who commits a rash of crimes when he is young but “grows out of it.”

Dickinsen has tried to improve his relationship with his family, has plans for schooling while he is in prison, and shows signs of taking responsibility for his actions and of gaining insight into “what makes him tick,” she said.

“He is not like a lot of 21-year-old offenders I meet,” Kelm said, adding that Dickinsen does not blame his parents or friends for his drug and alcohol problem.

Apology

Dickinsen addressed the court and apologized for the all of the trouble he has caused.

He also apologized to his victims for the terror they felt, and apologized to his family and friends for the hurt and pain and for the disgrace he has brought to his family.

Dickinsen went on to say his father had told him once that if you blame others “you rid yourself of the ability to change your situation.”

Dickinsen told the court that while he has been in prison, he has obtained his High School Equivalency Diploma and that he has started a vocational school program, is enrolled in the electrician’s program, and that when he finishes the program, he will be certified to work as an electrician’s apprentice when he gets out of prison.

Dickinsen said he has also completed an alcohol and other drug assessment, that he is participating in Narcotics Anonymous and that he is working on drug counseling.

He said he is beginning to understand the reasons why he has used drugs and that he wants to change so that he “has a better life” when he gets out prison.

Serious crime

Judge Smeltzer impressed upon Dickinsen that the young man had committed a serious crime and that the burglaries were committed to get more drugs, creating a “self-feeding frenzy.”

“You are only 21, and you are facing a 40-year felony,” Judge Smeltzer said, adding that Dickinsen should use his time in prison wisely.

“You have no room for error when you get out … you need to work on your addictive behaviors for the rest of your life,” he said.

“The clerk was scared out of her wits, and we cannot tolerate that behavior,” Judge Smeltzer said, adding that he did not want Dunn County to be known as a place where that type of crime is not considered serious.

The weapon used in the armed robbery was a BB gun that resembles a pistol.

Judge Smeltzer then went on to sentence Dickinsen to five years of initial confinement and five years of extended supervision in the state prison system to run concurrent to the current the prison term.

The judge also ordered Dickinsen to pay restitution of $480, to submit a DNA sample and pay the surcharge, and to have no contact with any of the victims.

A cash bond of $50,000 was set for Dickinsen in Dunn County on December 20, 2011, and Judge Smeltzer ordered that Dickinsen receive 153 days of credit for time served in the Dunn County jail from December 20, 2011, until May 21, 2012.

Judge Smeltzer noted that as a convicted felon, Dickinsen will not be able to possess any firearms and that his voting rights would be revoked until the term of his probation is finished.

More hearings

One of Dickinsen’s co-defendants, Brandon Hurlburt, was arrested December 14, 2011, for a robbery earlier in the month at the G&64 Country Store in the Town of Ruby in Chippewa County.

Hurlburt told investigators that he and Bollom had burglarized a home in Chippewa County on November 2, 2011, and had taken a large container of coins. They went to Festival Foods in Eau Claire and met Dickinsen, cashed in the coins, went to a strip club in the Twin Cities, bought marijuana, and then traveled back to Menomonie in the early morning of November 3 and discussed committing an armed robbery.

According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, on November 3, 2011, two men wearing ski masks entered the I-94 Mart at the intersection of Interstate 94 and state Highway 29 in the Town of Elk Mound at 6:39 a.m. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and an undisclosed amount of money was taken.

Hurlburt pleaded guilty in Dunn County Circuit Court November 26 and is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on February 8.

Christopher Bollom is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Dunn County January 18 and is scheduled to go to trial January 24 and 25.