A man charged with an amended charge of accessory before the fact to burglary was given a one year split sentence in Albany County District Court today.

Nicholas Rierson, 26, will be held at the Albany County Detention Center until a bed date is secured at a 3.5 high intensity residential drug treatment program. The underlying sentence of seven to ten years was waived, and Rierson will be given a reduced sentence if he successfully completes the drug treatment program. Once released from the program, he will have to complete three years of supervised probation. Rierson’s sentence was part of a plea deal, in which the state would recommend probation at sentencing and dismiss all misdemeanors associated with this case in exchange for Rierson’s guilty plea.

Albany County Court Judge Tori Kricken said the reason Rierson was being given the split sentence was not to have him spend more time in jail, but to make sure he was in a secure environment where he would not turn back to drugs. She pointed out that Rierson had issues with addiction even while in custody, as he was caught trying to make alcohol in the detention center.

Rierson was arrested on June 5 for assisting in a burglary in Laramie. Rierson was a lookout while three other individuals took a tent, a sleeping bag and a king sized air mattress from a Laramie garage without the owner’s permission. Prosecutor Kurt Britzius said everyone involved in the burglary was under the influence of drugs at the time.

Britzius and Judge Kricken both asserted during the sentencing that the driving factor in this situation was Rierson’s drug issues, particularly with methamphetamine. Britzius said Rierson’s criminal history, while not great, was not terrible either and contained no felonies. Britzius said the predominant factor in this situation was drugs and that Rierson needed treatment.

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