Weather Forecast


Lake Wilson man is sentenced for burglary, assault

SLAYTON -- Victim impact statements were made or read during the Monday sentencing of Matthew John Reese, 27, of Lake Wilson.

Reese had pleaded guilty in June to the third-degree assault of a male victim and second-degree burglary. He illegally entered his ex-girlfriend's home in late October 2007 and assaulted the man he found there.

Judge David Christensen stayed the imposition of sentence on the condition Reese serve 270 days incarceration.

Reese will be allowed work release, and was given credit for time served. He will be on supervised probation for seven years, must attend an anger management program, including any aftercare recommended, pay a fine of $2,000 and pay restitution in the amount of $5,966.

The victim had been brutally kicked and beaten, and had marks on his body that appeared to be from the heavy work boots Reese was wearing when he assaulted the man on the morning of Oct. 29. The victim suffered internal bleeding from his kidney and an abnormal artery in his head, and was kept in the hospital for 24 hours for observation and further monitoring. The police report refers to Reese as someone who should be considered "extremely dangerous and a menace to society."

A statement from the victim was read aloud in court, in which he said he still has flashbacks to the assault, has trouble sleeping and still has physical problems.

"My lower back still bothers me at work," the statement read.

Family and friends have noticed a difference in his demeanor, the victim wrote, and have commented that he is not as spontaneous and outgoing as he once was.

A statement from the victim's mother was also read, which said the incident reminded the family that life can change in an instant.

"Reese didn't even know my son," she wrote. "My son cares about other people, and can't understand why anyone would treat a woman badly."

She reported that her son has become quiet and withdrawn, and that the healing of the spirit is a slow process.

When the victim's father made a statement, he addressed Reese directly and bluntly.

"You didn't know my son," he said. "Beating him half to death like that ..."

The victim's father told Reese he walked into the hospital after being told his son was there, and could hear him screaming.

"Your boot prints were still in his back," the man stated. "I will never forgive you for what you did, even though I want to."

The man told Reese his son weighed 120 pounds, while Reese was about 250.

"You have to think about things, about human life," he said.

He described the vehicle his son had been driving when he got away from Reese and drove off. There was blood on the steering wheel, dashboard and seat, the man said.

Reese's mother also gave a statement, describing her son as a "very caring person" who had asked right away how the victim was doing, crying and apologizing for his actions.

"Matt is also a victim," she said. "He no longer has confidence in himself, he questions people's motives. Putting him in jail will only make his mental state worse."

The whole family was very sorry for what had happened to the victim, she added.

Reese also read a statement, expressing regret first that his victim wasn't there to hear it, but directing his words toward the victim's family.

"I'd like to apologize to (the victim). ...I didn't start out my day with the intention of hurting anyone," Reese explained. "... I lost my head. He didn't deserve it."

The complaint states Reese and his girlfriend had broken up the night before, according to an interview with her. The victim had stayed at her house in Lake Wilson, sleeping on the couch, she told authorities.

Reese, however, said he found the two in bed together, which is why he lost control.

Reese said he would turn back time and undo his actions if he could, adding he was "deeply sorry for the pain and anguish I caused."

"I've sentenced three people to prison for murder," Christensen responded. "None of them set out to hurt anyone. That is what happens when people don't think."

Reese's attorney asked that his client not have to report to jail right away because Reese starts a new job at Highland Manufacturing in Worthington, and has to be working for 30 days before being eligible for work release. Reese was ordered to report to jail on or before Nov. 3.