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Jury finds guilt

A jury found a Superior woman who provided information used in an armed break-in guilty of being party to the crime of burglary Thursday. The jury deliberated for one hour in Douglas County Court before rendering a verdict in the case of Erica El...

A jury found a Superior woman who provided information used in an armed break-in guilty of being party to the crime of burglary Thursday.

The jury deliberated for one hour in Douglas County Court before rendering a verdict in the case of Erica Elizabeth Olivares, 25. Hers is the last of five related cases to reach a conclusion.

Olivares provided information that led to a break-in at the home of a Summit man in August 2005. The 76-year-old man was tied up with duct tape and robbed by three people wearing ski masks. One held a shotgun, another a bat, according to preliminary hearing testimony. They demanded to know where the money and guns were. When the man told the robbers he had no money, they asked where his guns were and stole between 10 and 15 guns.

Olivares had been employed by the Summit man about two years prior to the event. She had cleaned house for him and, at one point, stole approximately $1,600 in cash from one of his kitchen drawers, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

Shane Martin Miller, 29, of Shell Lake pleaded guilty to being party to the crime of burglary in August for the same incident. He testified at Olivares' preliminary hearing and said the Superior woman was not directly involved in the break-in.

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"She never went there," he said. "She just told me where he lived and said he had money."

But, he told the court, "she knew we were going to rob him."

Two of the other men involved in the crime -- Zachary Ryan Kitto, 19, of Cloquet and Justin James Rose, 25, of South Range -- pleaded guilty to identical offenses of being party to the crime of burglary last fall. Sentences ranged from seven years probation with six months of jail time for Kitto to 18 months in prison with another 60 months of extended release for Rose. Miller, who testified at Thursday's trial, was sentenced to seven years probation with nine months in jail.

The fifth person involved in the incident, Michael William LePage, 38, of Black River Falls, pleaded guilty to being party to the crime of robbery with the use of force in September. He was sentenced to six years in prison and five years of extended supervision.

Olivares is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

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