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Wisconsin man sentenced to prison for Marenisco home invasion


June 19, 2019

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

Todd Norton, left, sits with his attorney, James Bucknell, in Gogebic County Circuit Court Tuesday during his sentencing hearing.


Bessemer - A Wisconsin man was sentenced to prison in Gogebic County Circuit Court Tuesday for his role in a Marenisco Township home invasion last year.

Todd Matthew Norton, 48, of New London, was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison for first-degree home invasion and 7-15 years for assault with intent to do great bodily harm. The two sentences will be served concurrently. He was also ordered, along with his co-defendants, to pay $68,580 in restitution.

"The seriousness of the offense speaks for itself, but it is one of the more serious offenses this court sees," Judge Michael Pope said, adding the crimes strike directly at people's sense of comfort and safety.

"Mr. Norton planned and organized the robbery of an individual in his home ... that involved three men entering someone's home while they slept and then assaulting the individual with pistols, tying them up and then repeatedly kicking them and/or pointing a gun at them - threatening them - in an effort to get any and all valuables from the home," Pope said. "The house was basically ransacked as the individuals go through the house looking for anything of value."

Pope said the crimes Norton was sentenced on are part of a pattern of his victimizing people for his own benefit.

"He has got a history, in his 48 years, of simply violating the law for the betterment of his own well-being and a complete disregard to others," Pope continued. "A complete disregard to the safety of others, a complete disregard to the security of our communities, and he needs to be punished for those actions."

As part of Norton's plea agreement, charges of armed robbery, possessing a weapon while committing a felony and being a felon in possession of a weapon dismissed.

During his plea hearing in March, Norton testified he was one of five people who drove to an East Shore Road property near Lake Gogebic on Dec. 18, 2018.

Norton said he and two other men used a credit card to break in through the front door. Norton woke the property owner up by hitting him on the head with the butt of a pistol he found on the counter, and then the group tied the man up and threw a blanket over him.

Norton told Judge Michael Pope the group wanted to "get all of his gold and silver that he had," as well as any money they found.

The property owner was later able to free himself and alert police, leading to an unsuccessful search of the area and the execution of a search warrant in the city of Ironwood.

Norton and several co-defendants in the case were later arrested in Wisconsin and charged in connection to the home invasion.

Norton's attorney, James Bucknell, asked Pope to give his client a chance for a life outside of prison in his later years; arguing Norton was cooperative with police.

"But for his help with this particular case, as far as his confession and his implication of his co-defendants, basically the case might not even have come this far," Bucknell said, adding Norton will likely be persecuted in prison for being a "stool pigeon."

Norton received a jail credit of 160 days for time served in jail prior to his sentence.

Four others have been charged in connection to the home invasion.

Amber Jo Dorschner, 41, pleaded guilty to attempted receiving and concealing of stolen property valued at between $1,000 and $20,000 as part of a plea agreement May 28.

Online court records show Brandon Scott Luter, of New London, is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, first-degree home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, felony firearm, and receiving and concealing stolen property. He is next scheduled to appear in court July 18.

Heather M. Worm, of New London, is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree home invasion and receiving and concealing stolen property. Her case is pending, according to online court records.

Travis Ramirez, of Appleton, is facing charges of armed robbery, first-degree home invasion, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felony firearm and being a felon in possession of a weapon, according to online records. That case is also pending, according to online records.

The case was primarily investigated by the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department.


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