One of seven area residents accused of repeatedly vandalizing the former Waukesha County Health and Human Services building has pleaded guilty to her role in the vandalism but will not spend any time behind bars, court records show.
Katie Bennett, 17, of Waukesha pleaded guilty March 7 to one misdemeanor count of entry into a locked building or construction site. According to online court records, she was sentenced for that crime the same day in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
A criminal damage to property charge against Bennett was dismissed but read into the court record.
Bennett is one of seven area residents, most of them from Waukesha, who were accused in December of breaking into and vandalizing the now-defunct health and human services building over a roughly three-month period beginning in January 2015. The remaining six cases are still pending, according to court records.
A judge imposed but stayed a sentence of 60 days of jail time, with work-release privileges, for Bennett in favor of 12 months of probation, records show. If Bennett complies with all the conditions of that probation, which include paying about $60 in restitution and a ban on contact with her co-defendants, her probation could be terminated after nine months.
Court records indicate the offense will also be expunged from Bennett's record upon completion of her sentence.
The other defendants with pending cases tied to the vandalism are Jacob Erke, 19, of Waukesha; Isaiah Pozos, 19, of Waukesha; Colin Hepp, 17, of Waukesha; Jose Huertas, 19, of Lake Villa, Illinois; Jeffrey Samuelson, 18, of Waukesha; and Ryan Turnmire, 18, of Waukesha.
All of them are facing the same charges as Bennett, but Hepp, Samuelson and Turnmire are additionally facing a misdemeanor theft charge for reportedly stealing lights from all-terrain vehicles inside the health and human services building.
All the defendants, except Hepp, have plea and sentencing hearings scheduled in the coming weeks, court records show. Hepp is scheduled to appear for a jury trial on April 12.
According to a criminal complaint, a Waukesha County public works supervisor reported the vandalism last March. He told investigators the damage, which included broken windows, a broken drinking fountain and a spray-painted sign, had occurred over a period of months, likely beginning in January of that year.
A pool table, a power washer and a generator, in addition to the vehicle lights, were also reported missing, the complaint said. The damage to the building, before labor and cleanup costs, was estimated at $5,000.