A Millersville man serving up to 66 years in prison for a 7-month spree of burglaries at friends’ and neighbors’ homes wants a new sentence.
Stewart “Mike” Lazarus argued his appeal Friday in Lancaster County Court regarding a 33-to-66-year sentence ordered by a county judge in 2013.
On appeal, Lazarus argues that he pleaded guilty to two burglaries that he didn’t commit, and that his attorney was ineffective in working toward a resolution to the case.
Lazarus pleaded guilty to 28 burglaries, in all, and was aware of each address when he pleaded guilty, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office argued in response.
Lazarus also argues that the sentencing judge didn’t give him an “individualized” sentence and likened his actions to those typical of all heroin addicts.
Assistant District Attorney Trista Boyd, who is handling the appeal response, countered that the sentencing judge didn’t order a “blanket sentence” given to all heroin addicts. The judge considered all the crimes Lazarus committed during the 2012 spree, Boyd countered.
Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely, at sentencing in 2013, told Lazarus that he “destroyed an entire community” with the spree, which had residents on edge for months.
Millersville's mayor said, at sentencing, an estimated 2,450 households in the town were fearful.
Judge Knisely will make a ruling on the appeal at a later date.
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