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A man convicted of burglarizing the house of a San Francisco Superior Court judge received a 13-year prison sentence Friday. Defendant Michael Weible suggested his case was treated particularly harshly because the home he broke into belonged to Judge Robert Dondero. “It’s a judge; let’s give him everything the law allows,” said Weible, convicted by a jury of first-degree burglary and being in receipt of stolen property. But even Weible’s attorney, San Francisco solo Lewis Romero, said he thinks the sentence was appropriate. “Judge [Daniel] Creed, with respect to sentencing, was fair,” Romero said, though the attorney disagreed with at least two of Creed’s other rulings, in limine and in trial. Romero is mandated by law to appeal his client’s conviction. Weible is “reaching out for sympathy,” prosecutor Andrew Clark said later. “But we all took extra steps not to be influenced by the judge.” He didn’t call Dondero as a witness, and the case was heard by an out-of-town jurist, he noted. Judge Creed is retired from the Santa Clara County Superior Court bench. Weible refused the prosecution’s pretrial offer of nine years in prison. Weible believed he wasn’t given a deal that “would invite him to forgo trial” because the victim was a judge, said Romero. Romero said he had been optimistic the judge would sentence Weible to 11 years. On Friday, Clark asked Creed to give the mid-level term for first-degree burglary, four years in state prison and to double it because a prior first-degree burglary conviction counted as a first strike. Because the prior conviction was a serious felony, Clark also sought a five-year enhancement. Romero asked for a low prison term, arguing that Weible had no history of violence and that his thefts were related to a cocaine addiction he’s had since childhood. In an emotional, rambling plea to the judge, Weible said he cooperated after his arrest and hadn’t hurt anyone. “I’ve got a problem, I do drugs, my wife’s dead,” Weible said. “The judge, the judge, the judge, everything about the judge. What about me? “They’re acting like I didn’t help them and I didn’t tell them where to go to get the judge’s stuff back.” Clark noted the DA’s office wasn’t asking for the maximum base sentence of six years for burglary, and later noted Weible had previously served a six-year prison sentence for first-degree burglary. “It’s the exact same crime.” The defense also argued unsuccessfully for a new trial Friday on the grounds of newly discovered evidence. At trial, Romero argued Weible’s drug dealer coerced him into breaking into Dondero’s house. The defense lawyer said he has since learned that some of Dondero’s rulings in a civil case may have had a financial impact on the son of the alleged third party, which could have provided a motive for targeting the Dondero home.

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