Attack earns seven-year sentence

Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

A man who pleaded to charges he broke into his estranged wife’s home and attacked her and her boyfriend in the middle of the night has been sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison. 

Tobias Lee Westenbroek, 37, was sentenced Monday, April 14, in Allegan County Circuit Court. 
He made a statement to the court before sentencing. 
“I’d like to say I take full responsibility for the incident and my actions which were inexcusable and wrong,” West­en­broek said. “I’m very sorry for the pain I caused to (the victims).” 
He apologized to both victims, Jason Phelps and Crystal Westenbroek, for the attack and also to his own family and to the court. 
According to a police report read at an earlier hearing, the crime happened in 2012, when Phelps woke up at about 4:40 a.m. to see someone standing just inside the door of the bedroom of the home in Saugatuck Township. He was hit with a glass casserole dish by the man, who proved to be Tobias Westenbroek, and it cut him badly. The men fought and Westenbroek eventually fled. Police chased him later that morning, but he escaped into the woods and evaded capture.
Westenbroek eventually found his way to Sturgis, S.D., where he was arrested and extradited to Allegan County. 
In March, Westenbroek pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree home invasion and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. As part of a plea agreement, Allegan County prosecutors agreed to drop two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon. The court accepted a plea of no contest rather than guilty because Westenbroek said he doesn’t remember the entire crime clearly. 

For full story, pick up a copy of the April 17 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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