Burglar caught crouching next to couple's bed sentenced - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burglar caught crouching next to couple's bed sentenced

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Leonard Holbrook Leonard Holbrook

A burglar caught crouching next to the bed of a sleeping couple was sentenced Monday to 8 to 20 years in prison.

Witnesses and defendant spoke in court Monday before the sentencing.

Steve and Linda Zeno shared the moment they woke up to Leonard Holbrook in their bedroom. Holbrook also expressed his regret for that night but it wasn't enough to keep him out of jail.

"I can remember every single detail, and I relive it every single night," said Linda.

It was the night that Steve and Linda say changed their lives forever.

"Every night we go around hiding items in the house, it's routine now. Shouldn't have to its our home. We should feel safe there," said Linda.

Police say 37-year-old Leonard Holbrook broke into a South Burlington home last Fall. The homeowners awoke to find him in their bedroom. The husband tackled Holbrook and held him until police arrived. Monday, their attorney asked for the court to put Holbrook behind bars for 10 to 20 years.

"It's very personal, it's a very intimate crime. It's the kind of crime I would submit that, for the community, demands a harsh, a punitive response, in addition to rehabilitation," said Justin Jiron, defense attorney.

With 28 prior arrests and 18 convictions on his record, the victims wondered why Holbrook wasn't already behind bars.

"This is enough, it's time for this guy to pay the price I'm just fed up with it," said Steve.

Holbrook apologized to the family for taking away their sense of security, and leaving them to live in fear, assuring them he wanted to change.

"So that I never do this again in the future, I will be working hard with programming opportunities and so I can build a strong mind and foundation," said Holbrook.

But Holbrook's attorney was hoping for a lesser sentence of 2 to 10 years, arguing he not only battled substance abuse, but had a hard childhood and needed help. But it wasn't enough to convince the judge, who also took into consideration Holbrook's lengthy record and his chances within the system to get help.

"In reviewing all of those factors and looking at past sentences that courts have imposed, I will impose a sentence of 8 to 20 years to serve," said Judge Jame Crucitti, Vt. Superior Court.

At the time Holbrook committed the crime, he was already on probation for violating abuse protection orders. The defense attorney says he hopes the sentence will allow Holbrook to get the help he needs.

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