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West Fargo burglar sentenced to 5 years

Jeffrey Lee Goodijohn

A West Fargo man who pleaded guilty to 18 felonies for burglary and theft was sentenced Wednesday to a five-year prison term.

Jeffrey Lee Goodijohn is set to start serving the time after he's done with a sentence for a 2006 possession of marijuana charge, to be done by April 2010 at the earliest, his attorney said.

Upon release, the 41-year-old will be on supervised probation for five years.

Goodijohn was charged in Cass County District Court with 16 burglaries and one count each of theft and attempted burglary.

Also, he was ordered by Judge Wickham Corwin to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to the businesses from which he stole.

Court records say the following West Fargo businesses were burglarized: Trudell Trailers, All Pro Automotive, Lars' Body Shop, Dave's West Fargo Tire Service, Games to Go, FM Exhaust, Champion Transport Services, Midwest Communications, Northwest Respiratory Service, Johnstone Supply, Buckley Masonry and Red River Refrigeration.

Fargo businesses listed in court records: Fargo Parts and Equipment, Sweeney Brothers Tractor Co., FM Forklift and Bruns Radiator Service.

Goodijohn told police he committed the burglaries in February and March because he was strapped for cash and having a hard time making child-support payments after his hours got cut at a West Fargo manufacturer.

Assistant State's Attorney Tristan Van de Streek said a five-year prison stint was appropriate, given that Goodijohn has a criminal history dating back to 1986.

Defense attorney Steven Mottinger said five years was "certainly not out of line" but asked that the sentence begin now instead of after the time on the drug charge is served. That request was denied.

Mottinger said the burglaries were connected to Goodijohn's drug problems and mental health. He's being treated in prison.

"He's doing much better right now," Mottinger said.

Goodijohn attempted to commit suicide in March when he was being held in the Cass County Jail, two days after his arrest.

Asked by Corwin if he had anything to say, Goodijohn declined to comment in court on Wednesday.