By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — A former Boyceville man charged with burglary and theft has been sentenced to five years of probation, one year in the county jail and ordered to pay about $9,000 in restitution and court costs.
Zachary D. Morgan, age 32, appeared in Dunn County Circuit Court with his attorney, T. Gregory Amann, March 27 for sentencing hearing before Judge Rod Smeltzer.
Morgan was charged with four felony counts of burglary to a building or dwelling; felony theft of moveable property worth between $2,500 and $5,000; a misdemeanor count of theft of moveable property valued at less than $2,500; two felony counts of forgery; one misdemeanor count of issuing a worthless check; and one felony count and one misdemeanor count each of bail jumping.
Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and the felony count of theft of moveable property worth between $2,500 and $5,000 December 15, 2017.
Judge Smeltzer accepted Morgan’s guilty plea and dismissed the remaining charges but read them into the record for sentencing.
Morgan was charged in connection with stealing a rototiller and a lawn mower from a garage in the Town of Tiffany; stealing approximately $4,000 in construction tools from a trailer in Boyceville; taking an all-terrain vehicle from a home in the Town of Tiffany; stealing guns and a chain saw from a home in the Town of Tiffany valued at about $3,000; taking an ATV from a residence in the Town of Stanton; and stealing about $7,000 worth of construction tools from a trailer in the Town of Red Cedar.
Regarding the forgery, Morgan was charged in connection with using a $3,500 check drawn from an account at a bank in Franklin, West Virginia, to open an account at People’s State Bank in Boyceville.
Morgan also was charged with forgery in connection with a $2,500 check discovered in a home in Boyceville he shared with Lori N. Klund.
During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement officers seized multiple counterfeit bills in varying denominations along with the check for $2,500 drawn from a United Western Bank account.
The search warrant for Morgan and Klund’s home was issued after she was identified from video footage at a Boyceville business passing counterfeit currency.
Klund was charged with multiple counts of forgery after more bills bearing the same serial numbers as those found in the Klund and Morgan home were discovered to have been used to get into the Dunn County Fair.
Morgan addressed Judge Smeltzer at the sentencing hearing March 27 to say that his employer knows about the charges he has been facing and “has been helping.”
Morgan said he had been a drug addict for 15 years, that he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to childhood sexual abuse, that counseling and treatment have helped him, and he is now employed full time and became a father a year ago.
Morgan told Judge Smeltzer he has “never committed a crime while sober” and that as of the date of the sentencing hearing, he has experienced 408 days of sobriety.
“I feel like a house has been lifted off my shoulders,” Morgan said, adding that he has been self-medicating for years but that now he is on “the correct path and begging for another chance.”
Judge Smeltzer said Morgan “presents a challenge.”
“We know each other well,” he said, noting that Morgan has been through Arbor Place three times and has other instances of probation on his record.
After reading the Pre-sentence Investigation (PSI) report, Judge Smeltzer said he had been thinking that four years of initial confinement in prison would be appropriate followed by four years of probation.
Morgan has been through drug treatment court and probably cannot remember all that he has done over the past 15 years, Judge Smeltzer said, adding he is proud of Morgan for his progress over the past 14 or 15 months but that he has more work to do.
Judge Smeltzer sentenced Morgan to five years of probation on the first burglary charge, withheld sentence, and ordered him to continue with drug treatment programs. As a condition of probation, he sentenced Morgan to one year in the county jail with Huber privileges for work and for treatment.
On the felony count of theft of property valued between $2,500 and $5,000, Judge Smeltzer withheld sentence, placed Morgan on three years of probation, concurrent with the five years on the first felony count, and ordered Morgan to pay $8,570 in restitution.
In addition, Judge Smeltzer ordered Morgan to pay $268 in court costs on each of the two counts and a $250 DNA surcharge on both counts.
Judge Smeltzer initially ordered to Morgan to report to the county jail the day of the sentencing hearing.
Morgan asked the court if the start of the jail sentence could be delayed because he and his girlfriend have a child and there is no one else to care for the child since his girlfriend is currently serving a jail sentence.
Klund was found guilty of nine felony counts of forgery during a jury trial in January and was sentenced to two years of probation, and as a condition of probation, to serve 90 days in the county jail and to report to jail by March 2.
Judge Smeltzer subsequently ordered Morgan to report to the Dunn County Jail by June 1.
Online court records indicate Morgan changed his address from Center Street in Boyceville to Wilson in August of 2017.