Prison inmate gets five years in burglary |

Prison inmate gets five years in burglary

Staff Reports

A Nevada state prison inmate, with a lengthy criminal history, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison in connection with a 2006 break-in at an Indian Hills residence.

Tommy Dean Bridges, 32, must serve 16 months before he is eligible for parole.

Bridges admitted burglarizing the home on March 3, 2006, where more than $2,500 in property was reported stolen.

Investigators found DNA at the scene and submitted it for testing and a search, which turned up Bridges’ name more than a year later.

Bridges, who was an inmate at High Desert Correctional Center after being convicted of burglary, was ordered to produce a sample of his DNA which matched.

In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss a grand larceny charge and not to seek habitual criminal status.

Bridges said he entered the residence with the intent to steal, but claimed he didn’t take anything.

His attorney, Kris Brown, said her client had done substantial time in prison and was ready to redirect his life. She said he had been cooperative in the investigation of the break-in.

“He may have been cooperative, but it’s pretty hard not to be when the DNA says, ‘It’s you and nobody else,’” said prosecutor Maria Pence.

Pence pointed out that Bridges had seven prior felonies.

“I cannot fathom someone with seven prior felonies committing a residential burglary and getting a minimum (sentence) recommendation,” she said.

Bridges apologized for the offense.

“I have done a lot of time and grown to understand my missteps, and how to correct them,” Bridges said.

District Judge Michael Gibbons said because of the seriousness of the offense, he couldn’t give Bridges “a slap on the wrist.”

“The problem is you committed a crime, a very serious residential burglary. I have heard it 100 times (from the victims). ‘I don’t feel safe anymore. I worry every day.’ You created victims for life. I hope you had a chance to reflect there is somebody beyond you,” Gibbons said.

He ordered the sentence to be served consecutive to his current prison term.

Gibbons ordered Bridges to pay nearly $2,700 restitution,