Pain, heroin, burglaries: Janesville woman gets 10 years in prison

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Frank Schultz
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

JANESVILLE—A Janesville woman who pleaded guilty to 10 burglaries was sentenced to 10 years in Rock County Court on Wednesday.

The crimes were committed by a heroin addict who was stealing to support her habit and whose addiction likely stemmed from childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse, Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks told the court.

But Misty L. Kvistad, 39, was already in prison for similar crimes for which she was convicted in 2013, and Judge James Daley said he had to protect society.

Daley went with the longer sentence Dirks recommended, not the five years recommended by Kvistad's attorney.

Kvistad cried as Dirks recited her drug-use crimes going back to 1999, and she sobbed quietly and often throughout the hearing.

The value of goods stolen in the 10 burglaries is probably close to $250,000, and police believe she committed more burglaries, Dirks told the court.

Dirks recited details of some of the crimes, after which victims feared entering their own homes. One victim actually sold her condo and left Janesville, Dirks said.

Also tearful was one of the victims, who told the court about her persistent fear to enter her home at night because of what happened.

She found windows broken and blood stains, apparently from wounds the burglar suffered while breaking the windows. Personal papers, undergarments and bedding were all disturbed, some of them stained with blood, and she felt violated, she said.

The worst part was she lost a watch that belonged to her grandfather that she can never get back, she said.

A police officer told her that now that burglars knew the house, it was more likely to be burglarized again.

“If she is truly ready to change and accept her part in hurting so many people, then I think she should expect to serve the maximum time,” the woman said.

“I'm so sorry,” Kvistad said, tearfully. “Not a day goes by when I don't think about how I hurt people, and I wish I understood it, because I don't.”

Kvistad turned to the burglary victim and told her directly, “I'm so sorry.”

Defense attorney Josh Klaff acknowledged his client's backsliding into drugs and burglaries. He noted her drug history reads like a who's who of drugs of abuse.

But Klaff said Kvistad has potential to be a good person who contributes to society.

“Someone who has potential shouldn't have a lost life,” Klaff said.

“This is someone who is hurting and who is in a ton of pain,” Klaff said, adding that's no excuse for her crimes.

Of all the harm she has done, most of it has been to herself, Klaff said.

Kvistad's sentence will begin after the prison term she is already serving. She will be on extended supervision for 10 years after her release.

Daley told her he suspects her legal problems are rooted in her mental health problems. Dirks had said she has been diagnosed with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

“If you're going to stop hurting people, you've got to deal with ... the devils inside you from your youth,” Daley told her.

Last updated: 8:48 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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