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Colfax man sentenced to 4 years in prison for burglary

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A 23-year-old Colfax man has been sentenced to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision related to three different cases of felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.

Travis D. Westaby appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court before Judge James Peterson June 3 for a sentencing hearing.

Westaby was charged in at least one case in connection with burglaries at Kadinger’s Inc. near Downing in 2014.

In each of the three cases, Judge Peterson sentenced Westaby to four years of incarceration and four years of extended supervision to be served concurrently.

Sentencing was withheld in a fourth case in which Westaby was charged with seven felony counts of bail jumping, four misdemeanor counts of bail jumping, one misdemeanor count of resisting an officer and one misdemeanor count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Judge Peterson sentenced Westaby to three years of probation in the fourth case, to be served consecutive to the extended supervision ordered in the other cases, and also granted Westaby 508 days of credit on the three years of probation for time served in the county jail.

In addition, Judge Peterson ordered Westaby to have no contact with Gunnar Zurek, Jason Schmitz, Timothy Stabenow, Eric Affolter or Kyle Flatland.

Zurek, who was charged in connection with the death of Vannessa N. Marsh, 18, of Elk Mound, as the result of a traffic accident in the Town of Tainter in the fall of 2014, pleaded guilty last September to felony charges of operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license causing death, operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license causing great bodily harm, homicide by the negligent use of a motor vehicle, and burglary as a party to a crime.

In addition, Zurek pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanor theft as a party to a crime and misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

Marsh was ejected from the vehicle Zurek was driving and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Zurek was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and ten-and-a-half years of extended supervision last December.

Zurek told investigators that he had driven a Jeep into the field behind Kadinger’s several times and that others had gone into the facility and had brought out items that they loaded into the back of the Jeep and a van.

On one occasion, the Jeep was full and the van was half full. A variety of items had been taken from Kadinger’s such as catalytic converters, copper and copper wire and aluminum radiators.

The first time they went, Zurek said that Jason Schmitz, Tim Stabenow, Travis Westaby and Vannessa Marsh had gone to Kadinger’s as well but that Marsh had never gotten out of the vehicle.

Zurek said they had taken the stolen items to “Toys” although one time they took items to “Cooley’s” but did not get enough money. He said the account at Toys should be under his name, although he believed one might be under Marsh’s name. Zurek told investigators his portion of the proceeds was a little over $100, according to the criminal complaint.

The investigator also interviewed Marsh on September 18, 2014, only five days before she died. Marsh said that she, Westaby, Schmitz, Stabenow and Zurek went to Kadinger’s and would park in the field near the bus.

Marsh said Westaby and Schmitz would go in while the rest stayed in the vehicle. She said Stabenow and Zurek would load the vehicles. On one occasion, Marsh said, the items were put in her name at Toys and that she believed the check was for about $350, according to the complaint.

Schmitz, 32, of Spring Valley, was sentenced in August of 2015 to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision for burglary and theft of moveable property worth less than $2,500.

Stabenow, 23, of Wheeler, was sentenced in October of 2015 to two years of probation and 20 days in jail for theft of moveable property worth less than $2,500.

Flatland, 20, of Wheeler, was sentenced in January of this year to three years of probation and 120 days in jail for burglary and theft.

No court records related to theft or burglary are listed in Dunn County for Affolter.

During the June 3 sentencing hearing, Judge Peterson also ordered Westaby to have no contact with any of the victims, their families, residences, or places of employment. Westaby was ordered as well not to be on the premises of a pawn shop, salvage yard or scrap yard.

In addition, Westaby was ordered not to possess any firearms and will not be allowed to vote.

Westaby’s attorney, Julie Weber, argued for two years of incarceration and two years of extended supervision.

The prosecuting attorney, Dunn County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maki, asked that Westaby be sentenced to four years in prison and four years of extended supervision.