I 've mentioned more than once in the last two years that my home was robbed in July 2010. But I never gave a lot of details.
That's because the police asked me not to due to the nature of the case.
Not my burglary case, but the murder case that followed about 10 days later.
Two different cases, two different police departments, but the same two guys -- Jordan Wallick, then 15, and Joshua Edmoundson, then 18 -- were involved.
But finally, the second of those two young men -- Edmoundson -- stood before York County Common Pleas Judge Michael Bortner last Friday morning and admitted his guilt to conspiracy to commit robbery and 13 other cases ranging from aggravated assault, three burglaries (including mine), eight counts of receiving stolen property and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Edmoundson had originally been charged with homicide and other charges related to the shooting death of Jim Wallmuth III, an aspiring lawyer, in downtown York, but those charges were dismissed as part of a negotiated plea agreement.
Edmoundson was sentenced by Bortner to five to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay about $20,000 in restitution to his victims.
But to tell you the truth, my losses, whatever they were, are insignificant compared to the loss to the family and friends of Wallmuth III, killed for nothing more valuable or important than a cell phone.
About 10 days after the burglary at my home, Wallmuth was sitting on a bench in Foundry Park in York City, talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend. Wallick, Edmoundson and two of their tag-along buddies, Victor Virola and Kenneth Santiago-Curet, were out looking for trouble.
Santiago-Curet had a handgun in his pocket. He gave it to Wallick, who walked over to Wallmuth and demanded his cell phone. Wallmuth refused, and was fatally shot in the back for his trouble.
Wallick was convicted in April of second-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, for which he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Wallmuth's father, Jim Wallmuth Jr., said it best last Friday, when he reminded the judge and everyone sitting in the courtroom: "What we've (the family) lost can't be made up for. We can't get it back. And it's something we live with every day."
He added, "There will always be an empty spot at the table, always be an empty spot in our hearts."
His pain was obvious. His family's loss transcends a million times over the material goods some of us lost to these young thugs. Given the chance, Wallmuth Jr. would gladly turn over every dollar, every laptop computer, every piece of jewelry, every GPS unit, everything of value he owns to get his son back.
But that's not going to happen.
Life can be so unfair sometimes. A productive 28-year-old man is dead because he wouldn't give up his cell phone, and the fool who shot him -- Wallick -- though given life in prison, has already appealed the sentence. Who knows how that will end up.
Edmoundson will serve five to 10 years in prison, thanks to his willingness to assist the prosecution and to testify against Wallick in the murder trial. I understand the value in that, but from where I sit, Edmoundson still got off lucky.
It is not lost on me, however, that these are the same two guys who broke into my home and robbed me of more than $10,000 worth of material goods just 10 days earlier. They did it in broad daylight, while I was at work.
I arrived home around 3:30 that afternoon. It occurs to me it was probably a good thing I didn't get home an hour or two earlier.
Because these guys might have had a gun on them when they were in my house. I don't know, and they aren't talking, but they certainly had a gun 10 days later when Wallick confronted Wallmuth III in Foundry Park.
So I'm thinking if I'd walked into my home while they were still there, my life might have been in jeopardy. Wallick clearly had no respect for life if he'd shoot a man in the back for a cell phone. What might he have done to me if I'd interrupted his theft of my belongings worth a lot more than a cell phone?
I don't even like thinking about it.
But one thing seems clear: Luck was with me on July 16, 2010. But good fortune wasn't with Jim Wallmuth III just 10 days later.
I'm not sure how one explains that.
I won't even try.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.