Patton pleads guilty to theft and burglary

Justin Patton has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to theft and burglary.

Patton, 34, of Melbourne, made the guilty pleas to third-degree theft, third-degree burglary and burglary of a car, second offense, Monday in Webster County District Court.

At the hearing, Patton admitted that, on Aug. 11, he was at Walmart and altered the price tag on a tackle box in order to buy it at a lower price.

“Your intent was to go through and purchase it at your own sale price?” Judge Kurt Wilke, of the 2nd Judicial District, asked Patton during the hearing.

“Yes,” Patton responded.

He was originally charged with second-degree robbery in that case because it was believed Patton had shown a knife to a Walmart employee during the incident.

However, Ryan Baldridge, assistant Webster County attorney, said that changed after Patton was arrested.

“There was no evidence to substantiate that (Patton had a knife),” Baldridge explained. “There’s no evidence a robbery was committed.”

After the incident at Walmart, Patton apparently fled into a cornfield nearby. Officers from multiple agencies converged on the field before Patton was found near the Fort Dodge Goodwill, 2735 Fifth Ave. S.

Patton was charged with third-degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor, because he has at least two prior theft convictions.

In addition, Patton admitted to breaking the windows on a car in Fort Dodge and stealing various items that were inside the car on Sept. 24. He had previously been convicted of burglary in 2005, according to Baldridge.

Patton also said he broke into the offices of Fort Dodge dentist Dr. Matthew Maggio on July 3.

Patton received five years in prison on each burglary charge, as well as two years in prison on the theft charge.

Baldridge asked Wilke that the sentences run consecutively for a maximum of 12 years in prison. However, Wilke instead ordered the sentences to run concurrently, meaning Patton will serve a maximum of five years in prison.