Six years in prison for Schererville man
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent August 25, 2014 9:02PM
Updated: August 26, 2014 2:03AM
A Schererville man was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for burglary and robbery in separate incidents in 2013.
Joel B. Hill, 20, pleaded guilty July 21 to the charges, admitting that he and another person broke into a home in July 2013 in the 100 block of Seville Court in Schererville and took a shotgun, computer tablet, iPad, PlayStation 3 and games.
Hill also admitted that he robbed a woman in October 2013 at the Chase Bank ATM on U.S. 30 in Schererville. Hill ran up to the woman’s van, pointed a gun at her head and demanded money, taking $40 after the victim was unable to get more money from the ATM, according to police.
Defense attorney Rich Wolter asked Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez for a sentence split between Lake County Community Corrections, which is an alternative sentencing program, and probation, saying his client needs structure in his life.
Wolter presented testimony from Hill’s adoptive mother who said Hill was born addicted to drugs and has several mental health problems.
Deputy Prosecutor Christine Parry argued for prison time, saying the burglary victims had their home violated and the robbery victim endured a harrowing crime that will affect her for the rest of her life.
Vasquez said community corrections is intended for lower-level felony offenders, not for someone who put a gun to a woman’s head and robbed her.
“You’re not beyond rehabilitation, but this is about punishment,” the judge said in handing down the prison term.
Vasquez said Hill can ask to participate in the Lake County Community Transition Court after he spends some time in prison. The court, which Vasquez presides over, assists convicts as they re-enter society.