LOGAN — A 55-year-old man, in prison for breaking into multiple homes two years ago, has been told by a judge to pay back his victims. Douglas L. Birkinbine was ordered to pay more than $80,000 to those who he and Victoria Asta, also serving a prison sentence, robbed in 2015.
Birkinbine appeared in 1st District Court Wednesday morning for a restitution hearing. He is serving nine-years-to-life in prison, after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, three counts of residential burglary and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, all second-degree felonies.
Behind Birkinbine in the court gallery, sat more than ten of the victims. They had come to court to tell prosecutors the overall value of the items they had taken from them. Many reported pieces of jewelry stolen that has never been returned.
Outside the courtroom, state attorney Barbara Lachmar expressed sorrow for the victim’s loses. She said the judge’s order hopefully brings some closure to them.
“I’m grateful that the perpetrator is behind bars and will be for a very long time,” Lachmar said. “We know that the community is safer now and I thank the victims for their cooperation, and certainly I want to give a ‘shout out’ to law enforcement. They did a fantastic job in this case, such a good job in obtaining the evidence, and providing it to the state, so that we were able to effectively prosecute Mr. Birkinbine.”
On evening of November 17, 2015, Birkinbine and Asta robbed a home in Paradise at gun point and later led deputies on a high speed chase that ended in Logan. The two broke into more than eight residences before their arrests.
During the hearing, Judge Brian Cannell said he hoped Birkinbine would seek to pay back the victims, even though he is incarcerated.
Outside the courtroom, Lachmar said even though Birkinbine is in prison, it is still important that he be held accountable.
“Restitution is part and parcel of that process but on a practical level, if the defendant is confined in prison, it makes restitution payments extremely difficult because they are not employed, or if they are employed it is for 35 cents an hour. So if he’s in there for a very long time, it is going to be a very long time before they see any of that restitution come their way.”
Birkinebine has reportedly never shown any remorse or tried to apologize to any of the victims.
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