Bungled home invasion, shootout with police nets 35 years in prison
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent June 2, 2014 7:42PM
Dominick Fazzini. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 4, 2014 6:32AM
VALPARAISO — Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost on Monday called it “easily the worst burglary I’ve seen in 20 years,” as a key player in the crime received a 35-year prison sentence.
The daylight Porter Township burglary began Aug. 8, 2012, with four men forcing their way into a home. It ended in a high-speed chase on U.S. 30 into Hobart with shots fired and one of the suspects killing himself.
Dominick Fazzini, 25, of Peotone, Illinois, received a 35-year incarceration sentence Monday and will then serve five years on probation.
Fazzini pleaded guilty on April 14 to the highest charge against him, Class A felony burglary causing injury, with a 40-year cap on incarceration, although the entire sentence could have been 50 years.
The state also dropped two Class B felonies of robbery and confinement.
Fazzini told police he got a call to do the crime and recruited Jordan A. Wilkerson of Chicago, Michael A. Sprague of Gary and Shawn Patrick Michael Duffy of Crown Point for help.
“Dominick was not the mastermind behind this,” defense attorney Lori Ferngren said.
A man Fazzini worked for threatened Fazzini’s life and his family’s safety over something apparently involving drug use and a “lifestyle,” although Ferngren did not reveal specifics.
That mastermind knew the victim’s former boyfriend, Ferngren said.
The victim, who was 52 then, said in court that she later learned the men were after something not in her house.
She said they had to have stalked her to know her routines.
She identified Wilkerson as the one in a suit who knocked on her door, then pushed it in when she went to get water, punching her face, beating her and tearing off her shirt until the others arrived and held a handgun to her face and forced her to open a safe.
When a neighbor came by, the men fled, Duffy shooting the neighbor’s hand as he reached in his truck for a gun.
The neighbor followed them until police joined the chase, which ended in a crash at U.S. 30 and Colorado Street in Hobart, where Duffy fired at passing FBI agents before shooting and killing himself.
Ferngren declined to talk after the sentencing, and Frost didn’t talk about the man she mentioned and said he didn’t know what, if any, drugs were involved.
Wilkerson is set to appear in court June 23 and is charged with Class A felony burglary and four Class B felonies, two counts aiding in a burglary, one count robbery and one count criminal confinement.
A hearing for Sprague is also set for June 23. He is charged with the same crimes as Wilkerson plus a Class A felony, aiding in a burglary.
Class A felonies carry sentences of 20 to 50 years, and Class B felonies carry sentences of six to 20 years.