Jolly sentenced to 57 months in prison for aggravated burglary

OVERBROOK, Kan. – An Overbrook man who was shot by a woman as he burglarized her home in October 2015 was sentenced to almost five years in prison Monday by Osage County Chief Judge Phillip Fromme.

Bruce A. Jolly, 49, Overbrook, was charged with aggravated burglary and other crimes after an Oct. 8, 2015, incident during which Overbrook resident Ashley Mundy shot Jolly after she found him inside her home. Emergency personnel found Jolly lying in the street bleeding when responding to 911 calls from him and Mundy.

Jolly was in court Oct. 17, 2016, for sentencing after entering a no contest plea to felony aggravated burglary in August as part of stated a plea agreement with Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones

As outlined by Jones at the Aug. 29 plea hearing, which had been originally scheduled as a jury trial for Jolly, the agreement allowed Jolly to plead no contest to aggravated burglary in exchange for dismissal of other charges against him, including two charges of felony vehicle burglary, and misdemeanor charges for theft and criminal damage to property. The agreement also provided that Jones would recommend a sentence of 40 months in prison, which would depart from a sentence of 57 months as designated by state sentencing guidelines.

At Monday’s sentencing, Fromme said he wasn’t happy with the plea agreement.

“I’ve given thought to this case and I don’t know if I can accept this as a decision of the court,” Fromme said.

The judge asked Jolly’s court-appointed attorney, Bryan Hastert, to argue the reasons he should consider a duration departure from the sentencing guidelines.

Hastert noted that Jolly had lived in the Overbrook area for many years, had previously served time in prison and was trying to get his life back on track, and entered into the plea agreement with hopes of lessening his sentence. He also said his client had suffered from his injuries from being shot.

“He is a changed person,” Hastert said.

Fromme told Jolly he had the right to speak to the court. “What have you done to change yourself?” the judge asked.

Jolly spoke about his time in prison and an injury he had sustained in prison, and that he had family in Overbrook. Fromme responded he didn’t want to hear about Jolly’s family, and instead pointed out Jolly’s criminal history that included thefts and burglaries.

Fromme said that looking at the court files, he saw that Jolly hadn’t expressed remorse for the crime, and instead stood by “your theory of defense was that you were a good Samaritan.

“I’m not convinced you have any remorse whatsoever except that you got caught,” the judge said.

Urged by the judge to explain the incident, Jolly said that he had been at Mundy’s home that night because he had seen activity and lights on, and had gone to the front door to warn Mundy.

With the judge asking specifically what kind of activity Jolly had seen at Mundy’s home, Jolly said, “I saw someone leave out of that house and get into an automobile. I should have called 911.”

“I’ve heard enough,” Fromme said.

Jolly then offered apologies to the court.

“I’m sorry to the victim, I put that in my PSI,” Jolly said. “I didn’t mean to harm anybody. I’m not a violent person.”

Fromme noted that two vehicle burglary charges against Jolly had been dismissed as part of the plea agreement, with one charge supported by evidence of Jolly on videotape committing the crime.

“When I look at your record, giving you a break is not the solution,” Fromme said. “The community should not have to put up with people like you.”

Fromme then sentenced Jolly to 57 months in prison according to the state sentencing guidelines. He noted Jolly would get credit for time he has been confined in the Osage County Jail since his arrest. At the August plea hearing, Jones said Jolly would also be eligible for good time credit, which added to the time spent in jail would reduce Jolly’s time in custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections by about 18 months.

During the August plea hearing, Jones offered a statement of facts to support the charge against Jolly, saying that on Oct. 8, 2015, Jolly had unlawfully entered Mundy’s home when Mundy and her 4-year-old child were in the home, with the intent to commit theft or other felony. Jones said evidence showed Jolly had entered the basement of the home, and Mundy shot him when she encountered him near the home’s front door.

Jolly’s case was delayed in January, when Jolly fired his court-appointed attorney William Bayne, with one complaint lodged against Bayne that he had encouraged Jolly to accept a plea agreement. Hastert was then appointed by the court as Jolly’s attorney, and although he had court-appointed representation, Jolly had submitted a series of handwritten motions from jail, where he had been held on $110,000 bond since his arrest. The motions included his request to fire Bayne, requests for reduction of bond, requests for charges to be dismissed, and a petition to suppress evidence obtained during search warrants executed at Jolly’s home and the victim’s.

A jury trial was scheduled for Aug. 29, but Hastert announced before the trial began – and with 39 potential jurors waiting in the jury room – that Jolly wanted to enter a plea. Hastert said his client had decided only that morning to accept the plea deal.

Accepting Jolly’s plea, Fromme warned that the court is not bound by plea negotiations and the judge can set sentences as he deems appropriate.

See related stories:
Victim testifies she shot intruder in her home
Jolly enters plea in aggravated burglary case, cancels jury trial

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