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Beaver Creek Park cabin burglar gets 2 years, banned from park

 

November 10, 2017

Havre Daily News/Floyd Brandt

Garrick Ferguson prepares to leave state District Court in Havre Thursday after being sentenced to two years plus five suspended on charges stemming from breaking into and burgling cabins on Beaver Creek Park

A Box Elder man who burglarized multiple Beaver Creek cabins received two years with the Department of Corrections, was ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution and is prohibited from entering the park for five years.

Garrick A. Ferguson, born in 1972, was sentenced to seven years, all but two suspended, Thursday morning in District Court in Havre. He received credit for 57 days already served. He was ordered to pay $4,111.79 total in restitution, which is to be distributed among three cabin owners.

Since Ferguson will have thousands of dollars to pay in restitution, District Court Judge Daniel Boucher granted the condition, despite protest from Ferguson's public defender, Claire Lettow, that Ferguson cannot enter any establishments that sell alcohol or any casinos while on probation.

The sentence is part of a plea deal that dismissed felony theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief charges. Boucher said Ferguson's sentence is to run consecutively to his sentence of three suspended years for two felony counts of assault with a weapon in Chouteau County.

Cabin owner Blanche Kellam, who testified for the prosecution, said Ferguson should never be allowed to enter the park again.

"He took more than our belongings," Kellam testified. "He took our joy in enjoying (the park)."

The court charging document says it was the Kellams' cabin surveillance camera that identified Ferguson when he broke into their cabin Dec. 8, rifled through their cabinets, drawers and all the rooms, and left with a TV and a miter saw.

Beaver Creek Park has had a string of burglaries within the last year. Park Superintendent Chad Edgar announced in Monday's Hill County Park Board meeting that surveillance cameras have been recently installed in the park as part of an effort to thwart potential burglars.

The way Ferguson kicked in the door, flashlight in mouth, and began "methodically" looking and "shopping" in their house, Kellam said she could tell he had experience burglarizing.

"He doesn't miss anything," she testified.

Ferguson has ruined what used to be a fun family experience for the Kellams, she said, adding this was the second time they had been burglarized.

"I hope when you serve your time, you find a better way to pay your bills other than taking other people's things," Kellam testified. "It's not a good way to live."

"I'd like to apologize to you, the court, families," Ferguson said when given a chance to speak before Boucher imposed the sentence. "I learned a valuable lesson these days in jail. I'd like to move on and be a better citizen."

 

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