Kaukauna man sentenced for items taken from residence where couple killed
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A 39-year-old Kaukauna man, who was convicted by a jury in Oneida County Circuit Court on three counts of burglary and a felony theft charge for taking items last year from the town of Piehl residence where Thomas and Jennifer Ayers were killed, was sentenced Thursday to a month in jail.
Judge Michael H. Bloom ordered Mark F. Spietz, who was also placed on probation for 18 months, to begin the jail sentence sometime in the next six months, noting Spietz received a day of credit for time served and will be eligible for Huber-release privileges. Spietz was also ordered to pay $590 in restitution, plus a $59 surcharge, in addition to the $940 that had been seized from him, to cover towing charges related to the case.
Spietz, who had been arrested last October when he was accused of taking numerous items that belonged to the Ayers family, contracted with TruAssets, a company which handles properties going through foreclosure. However, the terms of his contract did not allow him to remove personal property from the Ayres residence.
Some the items Spietz was accused of taking from the residence included all-terrain vehicles as well as a purse. Bloom noted all the items removed were subsequently recovered.
Spietz’s wife, mother, a sister and other family members spoke on his behalf at the sentencing hearing, noting that Spietz had no prior criminal record and asking that he not be incarcerated so that his own business wouldn’t be negatively affected.
Oneida County district attorney Michael W. Schiek had recommended that Spietz be placed on 2-3 years of probation and sentenced to 6-9 months jail, also arguing Spietz took the property for his own personal use and that a jail sentence would deter others from wanting to steal from residences involved in foreclosures.
Though Spietz wasn’t involved in the homicides of Thomas and Jennifer Ayers, for which Ashlee Martinson is serving a prison sentence, Schiek said Spietz knew the couple was killed at the residence and took property from there.
Spietz’s attorney, Brian F. Bennett, noted his client still believes he is innocent of the charges for which he was convicted by a jury, and removing the property was a “misunderstanding” of what Spietz was allowed to do at the residence.
Bennett argued against a jail sentence when he sought probation for his client and also claimed the difference between this case and other burglary cases is the “nature of the address.”
Spietz delivered a brief statement before being sentenced, noting that “never in a million years did I believe I would be in this situation today.”
“I feel bad for what has happened and the issues this has caused,” he said. “I ask that you give me the opportunity to provide for my family and raise my son and my stepchildren.”
Spietz concluded his statement, which also made reference to “health issues” of other family members he has been dealing with, by noting “I don’t consider myself a bad person and believe every person does make mistakes and does need a second chance.”
In handing down the one-month jail sentence, Bloom said it was not his intent to disrupt Spietz’s own business and 6-9 months in jail sought by the district attorney wouldn’t be necessary.