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Waltham man sentenced to a year in jail

A Waltham man was ordered to spend a year in jail after violating his probation in a case where he broke into a woman's house and took beer, then drove away on a canceled license.

Jeffrey Leonard Ehmke, 54, was convicted in July 2011 of amended charges of fourth-degree burglary, a gross misdemeanor, and fifth-degree assault-fear of bodily harm, a misdemeanor. In exchange for his guilty pleas, additional amended charges of driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety, and third-degree damage to property, both gross misdemeanors, were dismissed.

On Thursday, Mower County District Court Judge Donald Rysavy sentenced Ehmke to serve 365 days in jail with credit for time served.

According to the original complaint filed against him, deputies were called Feb. 25, 2011, to a home in Waltham, where the female homeowner said she and Ehmke had been drinking.

Despite his canceled driver's license, Ehmke had allegedly been driving back and forth between his home and the woman's home several times that day. One of the last times he came back to the woman's house, she told him he couldn't have any more of her beer.


According to the complaint, Ehmke left, returned to the house and began kicking in her locked door, demanding the beer. He reportedly drove off once again, then returned and forced open the door.

Once inside, the complaint alleges, he took the beer and left. The woman then called law enforcement.

Officers eventually found Ehmke hiding in a closet in a second-floor hallway of his mother's home. According to the complaint, a nearly full case of cold beer and a bottle of rum were found on the floor of a bedroom near where he'd been hiding.

Ehmke was arrested and taken to Mower County Jail, where he allegedly told officers he went to the woman's house because he wanted his beer and bottle of liquor. According to the report, he said the woman refused to give them to him, so he kicked in the front door, took the alcohol and left.

At the time of the incident, Ehmke was on probation after being convicted of felony domestic assault and fifth-degree assault in November 2010.

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