Repeat offender gets time served, probation

·2 min read

Jan. 21—MANKATO — A young Mankato man who pleaded guilty to separate instances of robbery, burglary, assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct, DWI, and underage drinking and driving was sentenced this week to time served and probation.

Gatwech Peter Jal, 20, was sentenced Tuesday in Blue Earth County District on three felony, one gross misdemeanor and three misdemeanor crimes that occurred between June 2020 and October 2021.

He was sentenced to time already served in jail in each case. He had spent a cumulative 140 days in jail.

In June 2020, Jal was accused of entering a residence occupied by people he did not know without permission while intoxicated. He used his phone to record the occupants, yelled at them and refused to leave until someone pushed him outside, the charges said. He pleaded guilty to felony burglary.

In April police responded to a report Jal was trying to enter another Mankato residence. He spit on an officer and threatened to kill officers, charges said. He pleaded guilty to felony assault on an officer.

In June, Jal and another man reportedly entered a Mankato apartment in the middle of the night. Both intruders punched a man who was sleeping in his bed, then stole his fanny pack, charges said. Jal pleaded guilty to felony robbery.

Later that same month, Jal and other unknown men reportedly surrounded a man at a party and repeatedly hit him. Jal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Jal also was stopped three times for driving while under the influence of alcohol last summer and fall. He pleaded guilty to one gross misdemeanor count of DWI and two misdemeanor counts of underage drinking and driving.

Jal pleaded guilty to one charge in each case in November. He entered Alford pleas in the felony cases, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged convictions would have been likely if the cases went to trial.

He was sentenced to time served and no probation in the misdemeanor cases. He was sentenced to time served and three years probation with standard conditions in the felony cases.

The plea deal reached in the felony cases recommended Jal receive stays of execution, meaning no prison time and the charges may be reduced to misdemeanors if he successfully completes probation.

Judge Kurt Johnson approved the stays as recommended.

Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Michael Hanson said all of the charges to which Jal pleaded guilty qualified for stayed sentences and that is what a probation officer recommended.

"Stays of imposition are not uncommon, particularly where the defendant has no felony history," Hanson said.

Since Jal was convicted of all the offenses at the same time, he was considered a first-time felony offender in each case.