Man accused of trespassing in Bismarck homes enters not guilty pleas

2012-03-26T14:50:00Z 2012-03-27T15:47:36Z Man accused of trespassing in Bismarck homes enters not guilty pleasBy MARA VAN ELLS | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

Donald Lee Gerald of Bismarck pleaded not guilty to 15 felony charges including burglary, surreptitious intrusion and criminal trespass in district court Monday morning.

The charges follow investigations of a string of reported break-ins across Bismarck. A criminal complaint lists dates for the crimes ranging from July 1 to Nov. 8 last year.

Gerald is accused of breaking into seven homes, of attempting to break in to two homes, of looking into windows at five homes and of trespassing in one home. The complaint does not list the locations of the homes involved.

Gerald entered a not guilty plea to another Class C felony criminal trespass charge in December. In that instance, Bismarck Police Detective Paul Olson testified that he and Sgt. Gary Malo had been investigating numerous break-ins to homes in northwest Bismarck, including an Oct. 14 break-in at a home on the 700 block of Brunswick Drive in which the homeowner saw a man standing in his foyer without shoes. The man fled when he saw the homeowner, but a pair of white tennis shoes was left outside the house, Olson said.

Olson requested North Dakota Parole and Probation provide GPS tracking data from sex offenders to the police department so detectives could determine if any of the offenders had been in the areas of the break-ins. Gerald is a high-risk sex offender, required to register his status for the remainder of his life, after convictions for surreptitious intrusion in Grand Forks County in 2003.

Gerald’s GPS data indicated Gerald was at the home on the 700 block of Brunswick at the time of the break-in on Oct. 14, Olson said. He questioned Gerald, who said he was in the area, walking on the sidewalk, looking at “deer and pretty houses.”

Olson submitted one of the tennis shoes found outside the home to the state crime laboratory for DNA analysis. DNA on the shoe matched that of Gerald.

On Monday, Gerald waived his preliminary hearing and moved straight to an arraignment. He was charged with seven counts of Class C felony burglary and two counts of Class C felony attempted burglary. The maximum sentence for each of the charges is a $10,000 fine and 10 years in jail.

Gerald was charged with five counts of Class C felony surreptitious intrusion. The maximum sentence for each charge is a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

Gerald also was charged with one count of Class C felony criminal trespass. The maximum sentence for the charge is $5,000 and five years in prison.

Assistant State’s Attorney Pamela Nesvig who is handling the case along with Assistant State’s Attorney Dawn Deitz, said all the charges, including the charge that was entered in December, are related and are scheduled to be tried together.

South Central District Judge Thomas J. Schneider scheduled Gerald’s next appearance for 9:45 a.m. April 23.

Reach reporter Mara Van Ells at 250-8251 or mara.vanells@bismarcktribune.com.

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(23) Comments

  1. blacklab
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    blacklab - March 27, 2012 4:03 pm
    Spikey please re-read my statement to Honor...I did not say that I know for a fact...I stated "if I could put how I know what I know" in regards to about his employment there....Don't twist my words!!! To mdngal, He was not on a crew the driver's there are out on their own operating their own trucks pouring at each job.

  2. mdngal
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    mdngal - March 27, 2012 3:20 pm
    Blaming the business is wrong. They hired him because they needed the manpower, and if he can't work where he is needed (residential or anywhere) he is wasting their payroll dollars. I'm sure he was on a crew and not allowed to wander around. As far as the GPS, he IS allowed to walk and be places, but when something happens they can check back. Maybe these homes were between his place and the mall! Everyone who thinks that P&P isn't doing the job, try to realize that they, and many other agencies, operate on a shoestring and could use more people, and would certainly accept more people if the taxpayers wouldn't have a fit over the budget. They do the best they can with what they have to work with. They don't ask for all these cases, the courts just keep dumping them on P&P instead of putting these people where they belong - jail!! Call P&P sometime and find out the ratio of offenders to parole officers. You might be surprised. No, they can't be monitoring 24/7 one on one. Ideal, but not realistic. I can hear the taxpayers now if Bismarck wanted to double the size of the prison, can't you?
  3. Spikey
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    Spikey - March 27, 2012 2:53 pm
    Blacklab said he knows for a fact that Metro would have had to know that this man was being monitored because of his so called source. I think you need to verify your source because your source is lying. Metro Concrete had no idea that this man was being monitored because he lied on his application. Trying to blame the business that this man worked for is pretty pathetic....leave the blame to the "system" that failed us all!!!!
  4. blacklab
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    blacklab - March 27, 2012 1:14 pm
    To dbumstead I know for a FACT that he poured in residential areas!!! I would love to say exactly how I know but do not want to put anyone(s) in a bad situation due to knowing the facts that I know and how things operate at Metro.

    To Honor: Like I said to dbumstead if I could put how I know what I know with out putting some people in a bad situation I would love to share more, but I don't want to disrespect some people.
  5. Honor
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    Honor - March 27, 2012 12:34 pm
    Blacklab, do you have any idea how small business works? It is very unlikely that Metro or any other small business performs criminal background checks on the employees that they hire (although it is now getting to the point that every employer probably should). I am guessing that this guy lied through his teeth on his application and Metro probably had no idea that he was on electronic monitoring.
  6. mommamia
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    mommamia - March 27, 2012 12:32 pm
    I am a concerned citizen who questions the rights of the victims. Thank God the children and homes Donald Gerald was stalking and entering, no one was physically hurt. These victims, both parents, children and neighbors will be haunted by this for a lifetime. So where did the 'system' go wrong? What in the heck are those GPS bracelets for if not being tracked? There is so much corruption out there (including sex offenders), but all you hear about is the rights of these criminals. What about the victims???? Sex offender Rodriquez was released, oh my poor guy, he served his time, days later Dru Shodine was killed. What about Smile, poor guy, oh my, he had to go see his brother who was sick. Was this story checked out? NOT! Day's later, Sherry Arnold was killed. Judges and parole boards/officers should be responsible for these cases. Thank God there weren't the same results in Bismarck, unless this sex pervert too will be set free. Please protect our children and citizens, don't let this freak off. PLEASE!!!!
  7. dbumstead
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    dbumstead - March 27, 2012 11:48 am
    blacklab said: "The thing that bothers me the most about this whole situation is the employer that he was working for, Metro Concrete (Materials and Resources) allowed for him to go pour concrete in residential neighborhoods and they would have had to know that he was on electric monitoring for past charges and nothing was done to make sure that he wasn't in private neighborhoods when they knew his criminal history. Sure hope he stays in prision for some time and once he gets out he doesn't go back to Metro looking for a job, since there are enough people that know Metro would hire him again. "

    Do you know for sure that he poured in residential areas? Is it possible that he was on a crew that only poured for commercial projects? Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to defend this guy on his wrong doings, I just don't think it'd be fair to judge him on other things that might not be true.
  8. blacklab
    Report Abuse
    blacklab - March 27, 2012 11:34 am
    The thing that bothers me the most about this whole situation is the employer that he was working for, Metro Concrete (Materials and Resources) allowed for him to go pour concrete in residential neighborhoods and they would have had to know that he was on electric monitoring for past charges and nothing was done to make sure that he wasn't in private neighborhoods when they knew his criminal history. Sure hope he stays in prision for some time and once he gets out he doesn't go back to Metro looking for a job, since there are enough people that know Metro would hire him again.
  9. dbumstead
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    dbumstead - March 27, 2012 11:30 am
    I'm pretty sure that the majority of the time that people plead "Not Guilty" is to give them time to cut a deal. A good chuck of them never actually make it to trial. I'm guessing it will be the same case with this one.
  10. my2cents
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    my2cents - March 27, 2012 8:49 am
    A Ball was Dropped, for certain. We live in the area he was allegedly frequenting. When we first read about the goings on in the paper we were very concerned. Then we found out he was apprehended and that the GPS wasn't working...very frustrating. Then we learned my daughter's friend home was one of the houses he was stalking and entering. How maddening! Now my very young daughters are thinking, if it happened to their friend it could happen to us. The behavior of one individual affected so much of the community. Let's hope that in this case, a ball isn't going to be dropped any longer!
  11. Samaman
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    Samaman - March 27, 2012 8:20 am
    "The mission of the Parole/Probation Division is to protect society, address the concerns of crime victims, and provide supervision and programs to offenders in the community."

    This was not done in this particular case and I obviously it is not being done any many other cases (including GPS monitoring).

    Leslie(Barney) D Tomanek, Director's statement is we need to make some changes. Really? your department got caught BIG time. Your department just needs to do their job. A very little effort would have gone a long way.
  12. Samaman
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    Samaman - March 27, 2012 8:14 am
    Whatisthisworldcomingto said: "I am confused... the GPS was to monitor them and that is not being done. If it was he wouldn't be able to have so many homes that he was in... Very disappointed in the system.. UGH"

    I agree! This individual was on parole and was required to wear a GPS monitor. Why? To monitor his activity and location. I really believe the Parole/Probation department dropped a HUGE ball on this one. This was an absolute no brainer...... ONE, just one look at this individuals activity would have raised a large red flag. Someone or many should be released from their position(s) starting with the director of parole/probation.
  13. WorkingMa
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    WorkingMa - March 27, 2012 7:35 am
    Bodie said: "His plea was 'Not Guilty’ - are you kidding me? His shoes were at the houses, he was seen by witnesses, he had a GPS tracking device, which places him at each break-in. He is able to plead anything he wants- I get that, but why do we let people waste the taxpayer money on a trial when there is this much evidence. Our prosecutors should be ashamed that this is even going to trial. "

    He's not saying that he doesnt have the right, in fact he said "he is able to plead anything he wants - I get that..." so he acknowledges his right - what he is questioning is WHY he would plead not guilty when there is such a significant amount of good quality evidence. I question it too, but I am sure that there is a method for his madness. This guy is a freak. He was in the house of one of the girls I work with, visited the site a few times a day. Not good.

  14. Whatisthisworldcomingto
    Report Abuse
    Whatisthisworldcomingto - March 26, 2012 11:08 pm
    I am confused... the GPS was to monitor them and that is not being done. If it was he wouldn't be able to have so many homes that he was in... Very disappointed in the system.. UGH
  15. DustOff3
    Report Abuse
    DustOff3 - March 26, 2012 10:45 pm
    Breaking into houses is dangerous business. People doing that often don't think someone is home and can do damage to them. Remember that young mother in rural Oklahoma who "welcomed" one of the two breaking into her home where she and her baby were on the phone with 911? This is terribly dangerous business..scary.
  16. Had Enough
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    Had Enough - March 26, 2012 9:58 pm
    Why not just put all these perverts in their little prison and let them have fun with other. We could call it pervie prison.
  17. The Point
    Report Abuse
    The Point - March 26, 2012 9:19 pm
    ND Observer: Prison is a lot less expensive than the State Hospital. Plus they don't have to put up with those annoying "patients rights" rules.
  18. Report Abuse
    - March 26, 2012 7:33 pm
    We used to put people with serious problems in institutions to protect them and the public. Now, we have deinstitutionalized to the point we have lots of people in our communities who have serious mental and behavioral problems. Our answer is to put them in prison. Is that the answer?
  19. The Point
    Report Abuse
    The Point - March 26, 2012 6:16 pm
    Seriousy Bodie, are you that thick? So he shouldn't get the same Constitutional rights as other American citizens? I sure hope you or your loved ones never get into trouble.
  20. mdngal
    Report Abuse
    mdngal - March 26, 2012 5:36 pm
    I guess my concern is that with all those charges, and if he is found guilty, his sentence(s) will be concurrent, not consecutive, which would make his time in jail a lot shorter, equal to only one offense, really.
  21. sehr windig
    Report Abuse
    sehr windig - March 26, 2012 5:23 pm
    Bodie said: "His plea was 'Not Guilty’ - are you kidding me? His shoes were at the houses, he was seen by witnesses, he had a GPS tracking device, which places him at each break-in. He is able to plead anything he wants- I get that, but why do we let people waste the taxpayer money on a trial when there is this much evidence. Our prosecutors should be ashamed that this is even going to trial. "

    Because of this pesky, liberal invention called the constitution. In case you didn't know, it allows you to challenge any charge leveled at you by the state, no matter how much or little evidence their is.
  22. Tovarich Volk
    Report Abuse
    Tovarich Volk - March 26, 2012 5:11 pm
    I think usually when they plead 'Not Guilty' and the evidence they are guilty beyond reproach, they get a longer sentance.
  23. Bodie
    Report Abuse
    Bodie - March 26, 2012 4:17 pm
    His plea was 'Not Guilty’ - are you kidding me? His shoes were at the houses, he was seen by witnesses, he had a GPS tracking device, which places him at each break-in. He is able to plead anything he wants- I get that, but why do we let people waste the taxpayer money on a trial when there is this much evidence. Our prosecutors should be ashamed that this is even going to trial.
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