CROWN POINT — For half his life, 30-year-old Hobart resident Rusty Windsor has racked up felony and misdemeanor charges, spending time in jail and prison. His addiction to heroin played a major part in his life of crime, Windsor said during his most recent sentencing hearing.
On Monday, Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell accepted Windsor’s plea agreements for two separate crimes that occurred in 2015 and 2016, and sentenced him to two consecutive prison terms totaling 4.5 years with the Indiana Department of Correction.
The judge also said Windsor should participate in the DOC’s therapeutic communities for drug addiction and ruled that he won’t be considered for sentence modification.
The plea deal was worked out between Windsor’s defense attorney Richard L. Mayer and the Lake County prosecutor’s office.
Windsor was charged with theft, a level 6 felony, in Hobart that occurred on Jan. 25, 2015. The burglary charge, a level 5 felony, took place on June 9, 2016, when Windsor broke into an auto body shop in Griffith. This crime occurred while Windsor was out on bond in the Hobart theft case.
Cody Polovitch, owner of the shop, read a victim impact statement that described what he saw on video surveillance from the day of the burglary.
Going through the shop and taking tools, “Rusty looks like he’s on a shopping spree,” Polovitch said. “Then he entered my office.”
Once inside the office, Polovitch said Windsor took numerous personal items including jewelry, cash, credit cards, a laptop computer with personal information about employees and three guns that were locked in a cabinet.
“The most valuable gun is still missing,” Polovitch said.
Windsor took many of the items to a Porter County pawn shop to obtain money to feed his heroin addiction, and used the credit cards, the victim said.
“I’ve forgiven Rusty, but I don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t understand the consequences,” Polovitch told Boswell. “He used the guns (to commit other crimes). I’d like to see Rusty in prison.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Maureen Koonce cited Windsor’s long criminal history in asking for the maximum prison sentence of 18 months for the theft charge and three years for the burglary. Windsor also faces felony charges in Porter County, she said.
In June, Windsor was arrested in Portage and charged with felony counts of pointing a firearm and criminal recklessness.
During his statement to the court Monday, Windsor apologized to Polovitch. He also admitted he had a drug problem, but said wanted to clean up his act.
When Boswell asked him if he wanted to appeal his sentence, Windsor said, “no.”