Modesto burglar sent to prison for 25 years to life. He could’ve faced worse.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

A 34-year-old Modesto man convicted of a 2012 home burglary has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He agreed to a plea deal last week to avoid trial and a possible maximum sentence of 90 years to life in prison.

Michael Moore on July 19 pleaded no contest to one count of residential burglary, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office announced in a news release this week. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a second count of residential burglary and one count of attempted burglary.

On Friday, Moore remained in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail awaiting his transfer to prison. He has been housed at the jail since July 30, 2012.

Moore broke into two Modesto homes in July 2012 while the residents were away, stealing various items, according to prosecutors. He also tried to break into a third home but was unsuccessful. Investigators later that month identified Moore as the suspect in the break-ins and arrested him.

Prosecutors said home burglary is considered a serious felony crime, because there’s a high risk of violence if residents are involved in a confrontation with a burglar breaking into their home.

Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne prosecuted the case against Moore. Before Moore’s latest conviction, he had four other burglary convictions in 2007 and 2008. Those convictions made him eligible for a life sentence under the state’s “Three Strikes” law. He spent time in prison for those four convictions.

Had a trial jury convicted Moore of all three charges in his latest burglary case, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 90 years to life in prison due to his previous convictions, according to prosecutors.

The District Attorney’s Office has a committee that reviews “Three Strikes” cases. The committee determines an appropriate sentence recommendation and considers input from the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor assigned to the case.

After the committee reviewed Moore’s case, it was decided to offer the defendant the plea deal. Moore would have to plead to one count of residential burglary and admit two of his previous burglary convictions. Moore also would have to agree to a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors said recent changes in state law make Moore’s crimes non-violent felonies, making him eligible for early release from prison in less than 25 years.

Rosalio Ahumada: 209-578-2394