Man gets maximum sentence for involvement in burglary that led to a death

Wesley Hampton pleaded guilty to burglary of a dwelling resulting in serious bodily injury, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and Habitual Offender.

Posted: Apr 11, 2019 3:59 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2019 4:03 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Forty one-year-old Wesley Hampton's will spend 40 years in the Department of Corrections for his involvement in a January 2017 crime that left one Lafayette man dead.

Hampton's sentencing was supposed to happen at 9 a.m. on Thursday, but was pushed back because of an alleged bomb threat at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. The courthouse reopened at 10 a.m. and his sentencing began just before 10:30 a.m.

Wesley Hampton pleaded guilty to burglary of a dwelling resulting in serious bodily injury, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and Habitual Offender.

As News 18 previously reported, Hampton, Aarron Vance, and Adam Worthington broke into John Byler's apartment.

Court documents say they were demanding drugs and money. It was at the apartment that Byler was shot in the chest. He later died at a Lafayette hospital.

The mother and sister of Byler read letters to the court on Thursday. His sister said she can still distinctly remember the day her mother called her with the news that her brother had been shot and killed. She said, as she looked at Hampton, that she's suffered many sleepless nights and her family has been left in limbo for the past two years.

His mother said she has been diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder because of what happened. She recalled telling Byler's grandson that his grandpa would not be coming home. She included a statement from the grandson that read, "It makes me really sad that my grandpa died. I wish I could enjoy a few more Christmases with him."

Under Hampton's plea bargain, the range of his sentence was 32 to 40 years in the DOC. Both Byler's mother and sister urged the court to hand down the full 40 years.

Lafayette Police's Detective William Dempster was the only person the defense called to the witness stand. He said that Hampton has been cooperative with law enforcement in the arrest of 22-year-old Adam Worthington. Worthington was caught in February of this year, and he is the third person police believe was involved in the burglary that left Byers dead.

Tippecanoe County Judge Sean Persin gave Hampton the chance to give a statement, a chance that he denied.

Hampton has a lengthy criminal history that started when he was just a teenager, and this was Hampton's third burglary conviction. Hampton has also failed several rehabilitation program attempts to get him on the right path. He was also on probation at the time of this crime. 

Judger Persin said he questions if Hampton would use his time in jail wisely to better himself. He added that anything less than the maximum sentence would depreciate the crime that happened, as well as the victims struggle.

Hampton will serve 40 years without probation.

Aarron Vance's sentencing is scheduled for Friday, April 12th at 10 a.m. Check WLFI.com for updates on his sentencing.

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