MONROE — A Temperance man told a Monroe County judge on Thursday that he feared for his life after Ronald Roth entered his home, stabbed him multiple times, and fled with valuables.
Thomas Wallace, 33, said that incident on Dec. 29, 2012, was the first and only time he had encountered the intruder, who was shot by Mr. Wallace after he and a woman had left the home.
“I feared for my life and I defended myself,” Mr. Wallace said at his sentencing for a misdemeanor weapons conviction. “I relive this incident every day. I will for the rest of my life.”
Circuit Court Judge Michael Weipert said during the hearing that he had no intention of sending Mr. Wallace to prison.
Instead, Mr. Wallace was placed on probation for five years, but was given a stern warning from Judge Weipert not to consume alcohol or he could face up to two years in prison.
He had been charged with open murder and manslaughter but pleaded no contest in December to careless discharge of a weapon causing injury or death.
His attorney, Timothy Churchill, said his client has not touched alcohol since the fatal shooting of Mr. Roth and no longer owns a gun.
He also said the trauma from the shooting led to Mr. Wallace undergoing intensive psychological treatment, including a month’s hospitalization in a mental health facility after he suffered a nervous breakdown.
Mr. Wallace was in his home at the Inverness Community mobile home park in Bedford Township when he let a woman enter. She was followed by Mr. Roth, who tackled Mr. Wallace, held him facedown on the floor, put a knife to the back of his neck, and told him he would kill him if he moved.
The intruders stole a television, a cell phone, and other personal items. Mr. Wallace got his gun, and ran outside, where he fired at their departing car. Mr. Roth fell out of the car and Mr. Wallace shot him again.
— Mark Reiter