County attorney: Guidelines for sentencing of man convicted of storage unit burglaries are troubling

Composite image. Background photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Steven Anderson booking photo taken Feb. 20, 2020 | Booking photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff's Office, St George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY —Steven Anderson was sentenced June 1 for multiple charges after burglarizing several storage units in February. 

Anderson was arrested Feb. 20 and convicted April 6 of charges that included five counts of third-degree felony burglary, one count of second-degree felony theft, one count of third-degree felony theft, three counts of class-A misdemeanor thefts and one count of second-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. 

Anderson was also convicted of third-degree felony burglary for burglarizing the Suds for Buds Car Wash on Minersville Road. 

Iron County Attorney Chad Dotson told Cedar City News one of the items Anderson stole was an AR-15. He was already restricted from possessing firearms following a prior felony conviction. 

“He’s a restricted person,” Dotson said. “He’s not supposed to have firearms, so that’s even more concerning that he would steal and possess that.”

Dotson said his office argued for Anderson to serve the maximum prison sentence based on the conviction of a second-degree felony, but he received 300 days in the Iron County Jail. 

Steven Anderson, 36, booking photo, Iron County Jail, Feb. 20, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St George News / Cedar City News

“We argued that he should go to prison, which would be a term of one to 15 years, based on the second-degree felony conviction,” Dotson said. “The sentencing guidelines through the state of Utah recommended 120 days, with a midpoint of 60 days, and the court ultimately went with 300 days as a condition of probation.”

Anderson was ultimately sentenced to 36 months of probation, but Dotson said the Justice Reinvestment Initiative could reduce that sentence. 

“Depending on if he is good, that can be cut in half or be terminated even sooner than that,” he said. 

Anderson has also been ordered to pay restitution for the victims of his crimes, in the amount of $11,898.94.

“That encompasses multiple individuals who were victims in this case,” Dotson said. “There were several storage units that were burglarized. There was damage done to the units themselves and then thousands of dollars of property taken.” 

Dotson added that the sentencing guidelines for crimes such as Anderson’s are troubling. 

“We have these serious cases where people are being victimized and thousands of dollars being taken and we have convicted felons being in possession of assault rifles, and the state guidelines are recommending 120 days,” he said. 

During the course of the original investigation in February, it was determined that Cheryl Holton, who was residing at the same address as Anderson at the time, was also allegedly involved in the crimes. She was arrested and booked into the Iron County Jail on charges of two counts of third-degree felony burglary, two counts of third-degree felony theft, one count of third-degree felony child endangerment and one class A misdemeanor for receiving stolen property.

However, charges against Holton were later dismissed, as it was determined she was not involved in Anderson’s crimes.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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