CLEAR LAKE — A Clear Lake man who entered an Alford plea to a burglary charge has been given a suspended prison sentence and probation.

27-year-old Aaron Pankratz was charged with second-degree burglary after being accused of forcing his way into a home in the 600 block of South 8th Street in Clear Lake on May 4th, where he allegedly assaulted two of the residents as they came out of a second-floor bedroom.

Pankratz originally pleaded not guilty to the charge, but during a plea change hearing held in July entered an Alford plea to one count of third-degree burglary. With an Alford plea, a person does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

District Judge DeDra Schroeder this week sentenced Pankratz to a suspended five year prison sentence and placed him on five years probation. Pankratz was also fined $750, which was suspended.

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