CLEARFIELD – A motion to lessen the sentence for a DuBois man who committed three gun shop burglaries has been denied by a Clearfield County Judge.
Brett Andrew Moore, 25, pleaded guilty to burglary and related theft charges in September and was sentenced by Judge Fredric J. Ammerman to a total of 10 to 20 years in state prison. Moore had broken into Bob’s Army Navy Store in Clearfield twice and the L.B. Toney’s Alamo Gun Shop in DuBois.
Moore’s attorney, Ronald Collins, filed a motion for reconsideration of Moore’s sentence. During a discussion on the issue in October, Collins reminded the judge he had presented evidence during the sentencing hearing that after Moore returned from Afghanistan he was not the same person. He had a brain injury and continues to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Prior to these crimes, he had a zero prior record score. Collins stated he didn’t think the judge had taken these issues into consideration when sentencing Moore.
He also argued that there was little chance of Moore getting out after he serves his minimum sentence.
“Ten years might turn into 15,” Collins said.
Ammerman pointed out that he could have given Moore a 20- to 30-year sentence and the sentence Moore received was less than the probation department recommended.
Ammerman explained Moore was given three years minimum sentences for two of the burglaries and four years minimum on the second burglary of Bob’s Army Navy Store because it was a repeat crime. These sentences are running consecutive to each other.
Ammerman also noted that he had gone “to great length to allow the defense to present everything.” This included having people speak at the hearing who had already voiced their support in letters sent to the judge.
First Assistant District Attorney Beau Grove was opposed to the motion, stating these were serious charges and the guns taken were sold or traded for drugs. Only three of these guns were recovered and they were recovered at a crime scene.
Ammerman said he would consider these issues and rule later on the motion. He denied it on Oct. 31.
During his sentencing hearing, the owners of Bob’s Army Navy Store explained how the crimes had affected their business with the additional costs of $30,000 for new security systems. They asked for Moore to receive the “maximum penalty the law allows.”
Ammerman read a letter from the owner of L.B. Toney’s Alamo Gun Shop who was unable to attend the sentencing hearing. It said that Moore’s claim that he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder is “just an excuse” because his son also suffered from this and now is in law enforcement.
“This does not include sticking a needle in your arm and stealing guns to feed that habit,” the letter said. It ended with a request for the maximum sentence for Moore.
The charges were filed after a joint investigation with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that established Moore and his wife as suspects after three different witness told authorities that both Brett and Nicole Moore had told them they had committed the crimes.
Nicole Elaine Moore, 24, is charged with criminal conspiracy/burglary, criminal conspiracy/criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking, criminal conspiracy/receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy/criminal mischief and theft and receiving stolen property in connection to these crimes.
Nicole Moore allegedly told police that she agreed to help Brett commit the burglaries to sell the guns for cash and drugs. She said she drove the vehicle in all three incidents.
She has signed a plea agreement and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.