An Idaho Falls man who went on a rampage last November was sentenced to a minimum of seven years in prison Monday.
Dustin Williams, 24, attacked multiple people when he went house to house on Tendoy Drive, leaving a trail of damaged property in his wake. Three people were injured, including a 72-year-old woman he chased and beat with a brick.
District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. said that in his time as a judge it was one of the worse battery cases he had seen.
“The facts of this case appear to come out of a horror movie, and yet these are real lives, real injuries, real fear that can’t be erased and consequences that are life-lasting,” Watkins said.
The woman who was attacked spoke to the court about how Williams attempted to break into her house while she was eating breakfast. The victim tried to flee to a neighbor’s house, but Williams caught up to her and hit her with the brick multiple times. The victim suffered multiple fractures and had to be taken to the hospital.
“On the morning of Nov. 29, my world was shattered because of the choices of a young man,” the victim told the court. “My home, the one place you should feel safe, was violated.”
Williams continued down the street, throwing rocks through windows and damaging cars.
Police were investigating Tendoy Drive when more calls came in reporting Williams was acting violently at WinCo Foods.
A WinCo employee who was attacked also spoke at Williams’ sentencing. He said he had approached Williams to help him, because Williams was screaming that he had been poisoned. He said the attack had made him more wary of strangers.
Store employees were able to hold Williams down until police arrived. It was later found he was high on methamphetamine during the attack.
Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey listed Williams’ criminal history, including multiple batteries. Dewey said Williams, who reportedly started using drugs when he was 6 years old, had refused treatment for his addiction during his past incarceration.
“He has refused to indulge the system with any sort of effort at rehabilitation, even though the system has been aimed at rehabilitating this defendant,” Dewey said.
A presentence investigation determined Williams was an exceptionally high risk to re-offend.
Defense Attorney Neal Randall acknowledged the suffering his client caused and suggested a lifetime of meth use may have permanently damaged his client’s brain. Randall said Williams does not remember the attack.
“Unfortunately, through his own decisions, he’s placed himself in a position where he suffers from psychosis,” Randall said.
Randall asked that Williams be sentenced to a rider program while he’s evaluated to determine how he could be rehabilitated.
Williams, who had cried during the statements by the victims, apologized for his actions. He told the court that after he was released from prison, he did not know how to cope with life without the use of drugs.
“Drugs use to be a game,” Williams said. “They used to be fun.”
Watkins rejected a rider sentence but said Williams’ reaction to the victim statements gave him hope the defendant was not beyond rehabilitation. He said he wanted everyone to know of Williams’ case, calling it “the face of methamphetamine.”
Williams was sentenced for two counts of aggravated battery and one count of misdemeanor battery. Multiple other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Watkins sentenced Williams to seven to 15 years in prison for the first battery and 10 years indeterminate for the second, with no fixed term. Watkins ordered he serve the sentences consecutively, effectively making his sentence seven years fixed and 18 indeterminate. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail for the misdemeanor battery.
“You’re right Mr. Williams,” Watkins said. “This is no game.”