RACINE — One of three Racine men charged in a fatal 2016 beating was sentenced on Friday to 35 years in prison for his role in the incident.
In October, 34-year-old Mecquon J. Jones pleaded no contest to amended charges of first-degree reckless homicide and misdemeanor theft.
Jones and Bobby L. Mitton, 30, were charged in April 2016 with being a party to the crime of first-degree intentional homicide and misdemeanor theft in connection with Thomas J. Borglin’s death.
Derryle L. Allen, 29, was also charged for his role in the fatal beating with two counts of harboring or aiding a felon and one count of misdemeanor theft.
On Friday, Racine Circuit Court Judge Mark Nielsen sentenced Jones to 55 years, split between 35 years of incarceration and 20 years of extended supervision for the first count and nine months in the Racine County Jail for the theft charge. The sentence for count two will be served concurrently.
“This is as grave an offense as comes before the court,” Nielsen said.
Racine Police began investigating Borglin’s death on April 11, 2016, after his body was found in his home in the 1500 block of Grove Avenue.
Allen reportedly told investigators the beating occurred after Borglin and Mitton began arguing about whether Borglin was a real contractor. Borglin didn’t want to fight, Allen reportedly said, but Mitton kept “pushing it over and over.” Allen said he saw Mitton pick Borglin up and body-slam him to the ground before punching him, the complaints state.
That’s when Jones began stomping on Borglin’s upper torso, according to the criminal complaints. Jones allegedly admitted to punching and kicking Borglin, but told police he couldn’t remember the number of times because he was too drunk.
Following the beating, two TVs — a 50-inch and 32-inch — were reportedly stolen, along with a knife, keys, Borglin’s wallet and cellphone.
The Racine County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Borglin died from blunt-force trauma to his neck and chest.
Both families speak
During the sentencing, members of both the Borglin and Jones family addressed the court.
“We miss Tom and we don’t have him here anymore, and how they left him was pretty cruel and brutal,” Cesar Angeles, Borglin’s former brother-in-law, said with tears in his eyes. “We just ask that the court give him the maximum sentence.”
Greg Watson, Jones’ stepbrother, also spoke during the sentencing. He started by stating how sorry he and the rest of Jones’ family were for what Jones has done, and then discussed his and his family’s history with Jones.
“Mecquon has been a menace for the majority of his life,” Watson said. “And our family has said at some point we are going to have to say ‘I’m sorry’ to some family or we would be burying him. And unfortunately, we’re saying ‘We’re so sorry’ to the other family for what they have to go through.”
Following the court proceeding, the Borglin and Jones families were observed in the Law Enforcement Center lobby talking to one another.
“It’s not your fault,” said one member of Borglin’s family as Jones’ family members offered their condolences.
Assistant District Attorney Dirk Jensen argued for a “significant period of incarceration” for Jones, citing Jones’ character and the gravity of the offense.
“I don’t mean to belabor the gravity,” Jensen said. “Anybody in society knows how serious beating somebody and stomping somebody to death is.”
Jensen asked the court for a 55-year sentence for the first-degree reckless homicide charge, split between 35 years of incarceration and 20 years of extended supervision.
During the defense’s sentencing recommendations, attorney Erin Preston questioned what happened the night of Borglin’s death.
“I think nobody knows exactly what happened that night,” Preston said. “I don’t think the truth of what actually happened will ever be known.”
Preston asked Nielsen to consider a sentence of 10 to 12 years incarceration and an “appropriate” amount of extended supervision for the reckless homicide charge. No recommendation was made on the theft charge.
Ultimately, Nielsen’s sentence aligned with the state’s recommendation. “Now, I take no joy in all this, but you are going to prison for a long time,” Nielsen said.
“Mecquon has been a menace for the majority of his life. And our family has said at some point we are going to have to say ‘I’m sorry’ to some family or we would be burying him. And unfortunately, we’re saying ‘We’re so sorry’ to the other family for what they have to go through.” Greg Watson, defendant’s stepbrother