Thieving heroin addict sent to prison |

Thieving heroin addict sent to prison

by Sheila Gardner

A 21-year-old heroin addict who stole from his mother at least twice to finance his addiction was sentenced Tuesday to two four-year prison terms in Nevada State Prison to be served concurrently.

“It is really, really difficult to send someone who is 21 to prison,” District Judge Dave Gamble told Tyler Scott Schroeder. “I hope you hate this from the bottom of your soul. I hope you hate it enough to stay clean and sober. The next offense could send you away for the rest of your life.”

Schroeder pleaded guilty in July to grand larceny, admitting for the second time he stole from his family. He also was sentenced for a probation violation stemming from a July 2009 conviction of possession of stolen property.

“I deeply regret everything I did,” Schroeder said.

“You keep saying that,” Gamble said. “I’ve not seen a 21-year-old with five pages of criminal history for a long, long time.”

Schroeder said he was confident he could overcome his addiction and criminal past.

“I feel I short-changed myself by using heroin,” he said. “I feel I’ve been through a lot at 21. I could be a counselor to help others.”

Schroeder said his addiction caused his criminal behavior.

“That wasn’t me. The person who stole from my mom wasn’t me,” he said.

Gamble said Schroeder had to “click over” to the idea that he was responsible for his actions.

“I see people come in here and tell me they have a disease of alcohol or drug addiction. Everything is excused,” Gamble said. “You are the one going to prison, not the disease. What helps them is to realize what they’ve done to the row of people crying and sitting in the courtroom and what I can do.”

He told Schroeder he had the benefit of every juvenile and adult program available since he was 15.

“What you need to do is concentrate on heroin and OxyContin and your committing crimes. If sending somebody to prison doesn’t do that, I am out of options,” Gamble said.

He sentenced Schroeder to 48 months for a 2009 conviction for possession of stolen property and 48 months for grand larceny. Schroeder also must pay extradition fees totaling more than $3,500 for both crimes and $500 restitution.

The sentences are to be served concurrently with parole eligibility in 12 months. He gave Schroeder credit for 170 days in custody.

Schroeder admitted stealing three video games, three game controllers, a laptop computer and two iPods in March from his family.

He said he stole the items to pay off his drug dealer.

In the 2009 case, Schroeder admitted stealing a flat-screen television from the Village Motel, leaving Rancho Grande restaurant without paying his bill and possession of $3,000 in jewelry he stole from his mother.

He was admitted to Western Regional Drug Court in 2009 but was terminated for noncompliance.

Prosecutor Erik Levin said he received a letter from Schroeder’s mother in which she tried to share the blame.

“He (Schroeder) has proven over and over even with the state’s assistance he is unable to control his behavior,” Levin said.

Gamble said she was not at fault.

“His mother was working as hard at this as any human being to help her son,” Gamble said. “The best thing we can do for our children is to hold them accountable.”