Another suspect in 2016 Janesville home invasion case pleads guilty

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Frank Schultz
Friday, November 10, 2017

JANESVILLE—One of the seven men charged in a 2016 home invasion that terrified a Janesville family pleaded guilty Friday in Rock County Court.

The plea was part of an agreement between the district attorney’s office and Sterling R. Olsen, 20, who moved from Janesville to Madison this year.

As part of the agreement, Olsen pleaded guilty to party to armed robbery. Charges of party to the crimes of burglary, false imprisonment, theft and criminal damage to property were dismissed but read into the record.

Judge James Daley ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set sentencing for Jan. 24.

Olsen has been free after posting a $4,000 bond in November 2016, according to online court records. Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan asked that Olsen’s bond be revoked, so he would sit in jail until sentencing.

Sullivan said Olsen, now a felon, faces up to 40 years in prison.

Defense attorney Lane Fitzgerald argued that Olsen has been helping police and prosecutors, has been working steadily, accepted responsibility with his guilty plea and has appeared for all his court dates.

Daley allowed Olsen to remain free pending sentencing.

When Olsen was charged in 2016, Sullivan described him as the mastermind of the crime, recruiting the others and directing them by phone during the robbery.

Olsen was at another location while the masked, armed men entered the residence and terrified the family, including a young child, according to the criminal complaint.

Olsen was the fifth man implicated in the crime to plead guilty. Four have been sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths. Two have pleaded not guilty.

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