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MENOMONIE — A trial scheduled for January 25 was cancelled earlier this month for a 40 year old Eau Claire man accused in connection with a burglary in November of 2017 at a Rock Creek home destroyed by fire.
A status conference is scheduled in Dunn County Circuit Court March 1 for Ryan J. Weiss before Judge Rod Smeltzer.
Weiss is charged with one felony count of burglary as a party to a crime with a repeat offender modifier and one felony count of bail jumping.
The fire on October 11, 2017, displaced the family from the residence, and according to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department dated November 13, 2017, in the early morning hours of November 2, a family member had arrived at the residence and discovered two unknown men with a vehicle behind the residence.
One of the items stolen from the house, which is believed to have been sold by the suspects, was a signed red No. 45 Michael Jordan basketball jersey given to the family’s six-year-old daughter and made available through the “Make A Wish” foundation.
According to the criminal complaint, the family member who went to the Rock Creek property saw two men inside the house with headlamps who were removing property.
When the woman asked the men what they were doing, they said they were “looting the house.”
The woman told the two men to “get out.” The men had a garbage can full of property from the house that they loaded into their vehicle and then left.
The other suspect in the case, Michael A. Tenney, pleaded guilty in October of 2018 to one felony count of the theft of movable property worth between $5,000 and $10,000.
Judge Smeltzer accepted Tenney’s guilty plea on the Class H felony with a repeater modifier, imposed and stayed a sentence of 18 months in prison and 18 months of extended supervision, and ordered Tenney to spend 60 days in the county jail.
Tenney told investigators he had seen Weiss in possession of three or four older BB guns matching the description of BB guns stolen from the house in Rock Creek, according to the complaint.
Tenney took investigators to the garage of his residence in Eau Claire and showed them several tool boxes and said he believed Weiss had stolen most if not all of the tools.
Tenney also showed investigators a backpack containing two sets of camouflage clothing he said Weiss and his girlfriend, Tabitha Sears, would wear when they robbed houses at night, the complaint states.
The backpack also contained an antique handheld magnifying glass later identified by a family member as belonging to her father and that had been stolen during the burglary in Rock Creek.
Tenney is scheduled for a restitution hearing March 1 before Judge Smeltzer at 11 a.m.