Port Angeles burglar is sentenced to year and day in prison

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A man who broke into the Port Angeles home of a 70-year-old woman in June and was later found hiding in a living room couch in another house was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge S. Brooke Taylor sentenced 26-year-old Clifford E. Hanning of Port Angeles and Sequim to a year and a day in prison after Hanning pleaded guilty to one count of residential burglary with an aggravated circumstance, Clallam County Deputy Prosecutor John Troberg said.

Troberg sought the aggravated-circumstance addition because the owner of the home Hanning broke into the morning of June 24 was present at the time.

The sentencing range for standard residential burglary is between six and 12 months, Troberg said, which would normally be spent in the Clallam County jail.

Due to the aggravated condition, Hanning will serve his time in a state prison, most likely the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.

“If you have a homeowner at home, and there’s a burglary, then [the convicted burglar] goes to prison,” Troberg said.

Terrifying

Troberg said the victim was present at the sentencing and addressed the court about how terrifying the break-in was and how emotionally difficult it has been to get over the incident.

On the morning of June 24, the woman came downstairs in her home in the 600 block of West Eighth Street as Hanning was prying open the screen on the back door of her house with a crowbar and screwdriver.

According to police reports, the woman came to the door with a handgun just as Hanning had pried it open. The woman attempted to fire the gun but could not because the safety was on.

Hanning reportedly told the woman he was sorry before fleeing her home.

“[At the sentencing], the judge told Hanning that he was lucky he wasn’t dead,” Troberg said.

Port Angeles police found Hanning on July 2 hiding at an apartment in the 500 block of East Fifth Street.

Police found Hanning hiding inside a storage compartment of a couch, underneath the cushions, at the apartment, at which he was not a resident.

Police said at the time there was no indication the resident of the apartment knowingly hid Hanning from authorities.

Nothing was stolen in the June 24 burglary, though Hanning did do about $100 worth of damage to the back door of the woman’s house, Troberg said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2012 5:27PM
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