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Man sentenced in burglary cases

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | March 31, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A North Idaho man will remain in the court’s jurisdiction for a series of burglaries in October.

Matthew Colin Henslee, 26, was sentenced to two- to four years in state prison in First District Court on Monday.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan is placing Henslee in the court’s retained jurisdiction program so he can receive substance abuse treatment.

Also known as a “rider,” the court’s retained jurisdiction program is an alternative form of sentencing. Instead of serving their sentence to term, the accused is made to participate in treatment and intensive education programs during the first year of their sentence. After the first year, the accused can request to go on probation, however the judge can still choose to sentence them to term. The program is offered as a substitute for traditional sentencing in hope of rehabilitating an offender.

On Oct. 2, Henslee is accused of burglarizing a Boundary County Airbnb south of Naples on U.S. 95 near Shiloh Loop. According to court documents, Henslee allegedly took jewelry, credit cards, and cellphones from the rental. However, the probable cause affidavit indicated that Henslee left a cellphone belonging to him at the scene.

Three days later on Oct. 5, Henslee was apprehended after a brief foot chase in Ponderay, according to court documents. Henslee led Ponderay Police Officer Cameron Simeral on a brief foot chase beginning in front of Northwest Autobody off of U.S. 95. Henslee ignored Simeral’s commands to stop walking, and instead broke out into a sprint fleeing the officer, according to the probable cause affidavit.

After he was apprehended, cellphones from the Boundary County burglary were discovered in Henslee’s possession, according to documents. Also discovered were two firearms which were reported stolen from vehicles in Ponderay including a semi-automatic .380 handgun, and an AR 5.56 caliber pistol with a 7.5-inch barrel.

Henslee took a plea deal on Nov. 16, in the Bonner County case, pleading guilty to obstructing officers, and one grand theft charge. In exchange for the guilty pleas, two counts of burglary and a petit theft charge were dropped.

In the Boundary County case, Henslee pled guilty to a count of burglary in court on Monday. In exchange for the guilty plea, the court dismissed a count of grand theft.

Henslee didn’t give a statement during sentencing, but was polite and cooperative during court proceedings. None of the individuals Henslee stole from spoke during sentencing.

Judge Buchanan sentenced Henslee to two- to four years in state prison in addition to one year in the courts retained jurisdiction program. In addition to 205 days credit, Henslee is sentenced to pay $245.50 in court fees, and restitution in the Boundary County case. He is currently being held at the Bonner County Jail.

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