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Baker's Dozen: 'Conscience' Aside, Youth Now Faces 13 Charges

For Jelani Spencer, it isn't so much what the voices are telling you but whether you're listening when it matters.

Jelani H. Spencer, 19, said he heard his mother's voice telling him how sad she would be if he committed a burglary, he told authorities, and that stopped him short of breaking into a Wauwatosa home.

He did, however, by his own admission, bust out a window at a residence in the 6300 block of West Clarke Street before his conscience got the better of him, and that cost him a criminal charge to go along with a dozen others he was already facing.

Spencer was seen by a neighbor going into the back yard of the Clarke Street home on March 19, and that woman called police.

Spencer was arrested a short time later and found with a pry bar that he later admitted he used to break out a window in the back of the home, according to police reports and a criminal complaint.

Spencer was charged with criminal damage to property, rather than the burglary charge that police requested, a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony.

But authorities said his new case would not only be prosecuted in Milwaukee County but also read in to 12 other cases of burglary, theft and drugs that Spencer already faces from his brief time as a freshman at UW-Whitewater.

Walworth County authorities accuse Spencer of four counts of burglary on campus, plus seven counts of "theft of movable property," and one of possession of marijuana.

Spencer told police that in the planned burglary on Clarke Street, he was intending to make good his losses in a robbery he had suffered a few days before. 

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