LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey negotiated a minimal sentence for the young man who has risked all to see two former comrades prosecuted for their attack and robbery of a 70-year-old man in Springwater.
Kyle Witthoft, 22, was sentenced to 5 years in state prison after testifying against his two partners in crime, Alan Fick and Joe Machado, who with Witthoft broke into 70 year old Raymond Barrett’s house, tied him up, and stole his shotgun, credit cards, and 2005 Dodge Dakota. Witthoft’s testimony at trial ensured that Fick, the mastermind who kept watch outside, received 22 years in state prison, and Machado, who had a mind to kill Barrett, received 26.
“I do wish to give minimal credit to Mr. Witthoft for manning up, taking a plea, and enabling the prosecution of these scumbags,” said McCaffrey. “We cannot, however, tolerate any crime, especially of this nature, in our county.”
Witthoft’s defense attorney, Kevin Van Allen, noted that Witthoft’s actions during the robbery itself may have saved the life of Raymond Barrett, even while Barrett was tied up and helpless.
“It was Mr. Witthoft who gave the victim water and offered him his meds,” said Van Allen. “It was Mr. Witthoft who talked Joe Machado out of shooting the victim. In the words of this court, thank God for Kyle Witthoft.”
Witthoft had a note passed to Fick in the Livingston County Jail after Fick’s sentencing in July, that said “Birds of a feather flock together but leaders soar alone.” It was unclear at first exactly what the note meant, but McCaffrey said he is certain that Witthoft was taunting Fick, saying that as mastermind of the robbery, Fick was on his own.
“It was just something Fick always told me,” said Witthoft, “trying to be a father figure or something.”
As young as Witthoft is, and given that he testified against two career criminals, his prison time, though shorter than his two accomplices, will be fraught with danger.
McCaffrey, Van Allen and County Judge Dennis Cohen all agreed that Witthoft deserves to go to a prison where he will be safe from harm from Fick, Machado, or their several known associates in the prison system, whom McCaffrey also investigated.
PHOTO CAPTION: Photo from Mobile Patrol.