By Marc Freeman
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Ivins Rosier blamed drugs and alcohol for turning him into a person who, at age 16, would be charged with breaking into a Florida Highway Patrol trooper's home near West Palm Beach and shooting his retired police dog.
"That's not the person that I am," Rosier, now 18, said Friday, more than two months after a jury found him guilty of the Nov. 18, 2012 crimes. "The person that I am is a loving, caring person ... I'm not a vicious person, I'm not a ruthless person."
But Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Robin Rosenberg, declined to treat Rosier as a youthful offender worthy of a light punishment, and sentenced him as an adult to 23 years in state prison.
Deeming Rosier a youthful offender "would not be supported by logic and reason" because of the "serious nature" of the felony charges, Rosenberg said. She noted the "horrific and tragic facts" concerning the shooting of Drake, a 5-year-old German shepherd who had to be euthanized because of his injuries.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who was in the courtroom for Rosier's testimony and sentencing, applauded the outcome. It was a high-profile case for his office, which asked for Rosier to be locked up for the next 30 years.
"It was a fair sentence and justice was done," Aronberg said. And more could be coming.
Gilson Gilles, 20, named as Rosier's alleged accomplice, faces similar charges in a case that may be set for trial next month.
Rosier's mother and other relatives left the courtroom without commenting. Rosier, who recently earned his high school diploma in the Palm Beach County Jail and hopes to become a minister, would have been limited to a maximum of six years in prison or probation as a youthful offender.
Jack Fleischman, Rosier's attorney, had harsh words for the lengthy prison term and vowed to appeal the convictions and sentence. He blasted prosecutors for charging Rosier as an adult with burglary of a dwelling with a firearm, cruelty to animals with a firearm, and shooting into a building.
"I believe this to be sadistic to do this to a child," Fleischman said. "Completely overboard, and I understand the dog died and they broke into a home with guns, but when you look at the range of punishments available, that's why they call it juvenile."
Before Rosenberg imposed the sentence, Fleischman called the state's request for a 30-year sentence "absurd" and "totally irrational."
But prosecutor Judy Arco said former trooper Robert Boody, now a police officer in Kentucky, supported her request. Arco, after reading off a list of crimes Rosier committed as a juvenile, called Rosier "so incredibly dangerous."
At Rosier's trial, Boody cried while testifying about coming home after work to find his residence on the 700 block of Quartz Terrace burglarized and Drake gravely wounded from several gunshots.
Jurors listened to Rosier's confession and examined GPS ankle monitor records showing Rosier was inside Boody's home on the night of the crimes.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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