HEMET – A man who viciously attacked a 77-year-old senior citizen with a large metal chain during a vandalism spree in October was sentenced Monday, Nov. 28.
Orion Isaiah Heil, a 20-year-old Hemet resident was sentenced to nine months in jail and three years formal probation. However, in lieu of jail, Heil was given the option of enrolling in home detention and will be allowed to serve the term of his incarceration from his residence. He will be required to wear an ankle-mounted electronic monitoring device.
Heil was also ordered to pay fines to the Riverside Superior Court in the amount of $2,975.70.
In a plea arrangement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, in exchange for Heil pleading guilty to a single count of assault with a deadly weapon, all other charges against him were dropped. The dropped charges included elder abuse, felony vandalism, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
During the unprovoked attack and vandalism spree multiple citizens called 911 to report that Heil was smashing car and house windows in the 700 block of W. Whittier Avenue in Hemet. While officers were being dispatched to the vandalism reports, Heil attacked the 77-year-old after the victim came out from his home to see what was happening in the street.
Hemet police officers located Heil within moments of the attack. Officers took Heil into custody without incident in the area of 1400 W. Whittier Avenue near Mt. Hood Drive.
Officers discovered Heil was still in possession of the metal chain he had used during the vandalism spree and the attack against the senior citizen. Investigating officers also determined Heil was under the influence of a controlled substance.
Local residents speak about Heil’s sentencing
The revelation of Heil being allowed to plead guilty to the sole count of assault with a deadly weapon while the additional charges against him were dropped has left many Hemet residents feeling angry and betrayed and many are questioning whether the plea arrangement was adequate. The fact that Heil will be allowed to serve the term of his incarceration from home with an ankle monitor rather than serving his term in jail has only further angered local residents.
Upon hearing about the sentencing agreement many Hemet residents felt the need to voice their thoughts about Heil’s sentencing.
Samuel Jenkins responded, “There is simply no justice left in our broken justice system. Criminals now act with impunity and know there are no longer any real consequences for their actions.”
Laurie Cain wrote, “It is sad that he gets a slap on his wrist with just 9 months of home detention and an ankle bracelet after attacking a 77-year-old man who could have died.”
“So now this 20-year-old gets to relax at home instead of serving time in jail, which I think is just not fair to the victim,” Cain continued. “God forbid this ever happens to a family member of those who allowed this man to plead to such a light sentence.”
Another Hemet resident, Pam Cummins responded, “It makes me feel angry and defeated. What’s the point in having laws to protect people that aren’t enforced.”
“This is an insult to every taxpaying, law abiding citizen and the police officers who are constantly having to deal with this human garbage,” Cummins said. “It’s going to affect businesses from staying or moving here.”
Pattie Lou Ross expressed her frustration at Heil’s sentencing as well, writing, “The time doesn’t fit the crime. There needs to be a realization of just punishment for severe crime. Felony punishments should be longer than months.”
“If we want to clean up this town we need to have harsh punishment for breaking the law and violating citizen’s rights,” Ross continued. “Obviously the system needs revamping if you can beat a senior and pay to stay home.”
In previous discussions about local crime and the way the State of California’s current justice system has adopted what many citizens and law enforcement officers call a “revolving-door” policy for criminals, Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown has stated, “These crimes weigh heavily on me, our department and our community.”
“There are victims and family members whose lives are forever altered by these criminal acts. I am not okay with that,” Brown has stated. “Cities in California that decide to make public safety a priority will thrive. Those that don’t will be overrun. It’s that simple.”
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Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.