A 27-year-old Lawrence man received 36 months of probation Friday for aggravated burglary and criminal threat after an incident in which he forced his way into an apartment in the 2100 block of West 26th Street.
Tomas Garcia Jr. pleaded no contest to the charges in October as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Douglas County District Court. Garcia originally was charged with two counts of kidnapping, aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated assault and criminal damage.
The two victims in the case alleged that Garcia, who was intoxicated at time of the incident, threatened to use a firearm in forcing his way into the home. He did not actually have a firearm, but did hold the victims captive with threats until they escaped through a window and called police. Police reports from the incident showed Garcia was too intoxicated for officers to interview him following his arrest.
Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone said he looked at Garcia's lack of criminal history and indications that the incident was purely driven by alcohol in sentencing him to probation, which will require drug and alcohol treatment. He also was ordered to pay $500 in restitution for a television and gaming system that he damaged while in the victims' home. Garcia could have faced as much as three years in prison.