William Artadi, accused of a high-profile string of burglaries last year, is now faced with a new decision, whether or not to withdraw his guilty plea. Judge William Syler rejected a deal Tuesday that the defendant made with prosecutors in November in exchange for admitting his role in the crimes. Syler told those in the Jackson courtroom that he could not get behind a deal that wasn't appropriate for a crime spree that left dozens of victims with looted homes and ransacked cars. Without the stipulations of the plea bargain, Artadi technically could have been sentenced to a 114-year prison term. Syler said he wouldn't agree to any deal that didn't allow him the authority to hand down at least a 10-year prison term. Artadi reacted to the judge’s decision when he stated his intention to withdraw his guilty plea as allowed under Missouri law, and said he was in the process of hiring a new lawyer. Lawyer Bob Stillwell appeared in court Tuesday after Steve Wilson told the judge he is being dismissed from the case. Stillwell, a former prosecutor and judge, said he could recall only one other instance of a judge disregarding a plea deal, and tells KZIM-KSIM that he was disappointed because he expects “consistency across the board.” Stillwell said that he felt that Artadi should expect equal treatment. Artadi's co-defendants, Jacob Colyott and Aaron Denson, had already been handed sentences of probation when Syler made his ruling Tuesday. The case was added to the Feb. 4 docket, at which time Artadi may withdraw his plea or face sentencing.
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