Wasilla man gets seven years for burglary

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2008

WASILLA - The boyfriend of a woman who robbed trick-or-treaters in Talkeetna was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Alaska State Troopers investigating the Halloween 2007 robbery of children in Talkeetna were eventually led to Aaron Tolen, 25, of Wasilla. He was found with items taken during eight Talkeetna-area burglaries.

Tolen was charged with 66 counts of theft, burglary and other crimes including hindering prosecution and weapons misconduct. In September, he agreed to plead guilty to one count of burglary in exchange for the seven-year sentence.

"I'm sorry for my participation in those burglaries," he said. "If I had had better friends at the time I wouldn't be involved in this case."

Tolen was not charged in the trick-or-treat robbery.

His girlfriend, Amber Martin, and another woman, Kendra Butts, have pleaded guilty to robbery in the case and were sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The robbery occurred on Talkeetna's Main Street as at least seven children, ages 10 and 11 made rounds for candy.

Two women wearing ski masks jumped from a truck and pointed a revolver at the children and demanded candy. One fired a shot into the air. They stole six bags of candy and an iPhone, troopers said.

Butts was dating a fourth defendant in the case, Michael Scott Wilson. His trial is set for Dec. 22.

Prosecutor Trina Sears said it may seem as if Tolen was getting off with a light sentence, given that he was indicted on 66 counts. However, the sentencing range for a burglary is five to seven years, she said.

"Mr. Tolen today really is getting the maximum," she said.

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