BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — MARBLEHEAD — A man who broke into a Marblehead woman’s home, then went back moments later and woke her up “for the adrenaline rush,” was sentenced to three to seven years in state prison yesterday.
Sean Raymond Delangis, 23, of Lynn has written an apology letter to the 64-year-old woman, who told a Salem Superior Court judge yesterday that she is still fearful, months after the incident.
“In the moment, it’s terrifying,” said the woman, who said she’s lost her sense of security.
“I still wake up at night,” she told the judge. And she recently obtained a permit to carry pepper spray for protection.
But the woman had also taken a self-defense course before the July 2 incident in her Washington Street home, prosecutor Jean Curran told Judge David Lowy. And that may be why she fought back that night.
Delangis, who said he had fallen off the wagon and started drinking earlier that day, climbed into the woman’s home through a second-floor window. He left with a laptop computer and a radio/CD player, which police later found near the house, along with Delangis’ boots and cellphone.
Then, Curran told the judge, he went back inside.
Delangis tapped on the woman’s shoulder to wake her, then told her that he wasn’t there to take anything, only for the thrill.
The woman grabbed him, and Delangis scrambled, attempting to flee. At one point, he tried to escape through a sliding glass door, which was closed. He left his palm prints on the door.
The woman chased him into the kitchen, where she grabbed a knife.
That’s when Delangis decided to jump through a closed kitchen window. He received numerous cuts from the broken glass.
Meanwhile, police converged on the area. One officer spotted a friend of Delangis and was questioning him when a barefoot and bloodied Delangis ran by.
The officer detained him, the prosecutor said. Delangis claimed he’d been doing “hard-core” training nearby, but the officer pointed out that he was running from the wrong direction.
Eventually, he confessed.
Curran asked the judge to impose the minimum mandatory 10-year state prison term on the charge of burglary and armed assault in a dwelling, one of the three charges against Delangis.
The prosecutor called the crime “disturbing.”
It’s bad enough for someone to know that a burglar has been in her home as she slept, Curran said.
“It’s the return, into the bedroom and tapping her on the shoulder to wake her up, that is most disturbing,” the prosecutor said. “The commonwealth’s concern is, ‘What’s next?’”
“When someone says, ‘I’m here for an adrenaline rush,’ what does that say about that person?” Curran asked.
Nicole Reilly, who represented Delangis, said her client had been making progress while on probation in an earlier burglary case, but slipped up when he started drinking in the hours before the incident.
Reilly said Delangis “is truly, Judge, beyond remorseful. If he could change it, he would.”
But she urged Lowy not to impose the minimum mandatory term on the most serious charge, arguing instead for sentences on the lesser charges and probation on the burglary charge.
“I’m asking you to let him have a future, your honor,” Reilly said.
That still leaves Delangis with a potential 10 years-to-life sentence if he violates his probation.
Lowy agreed to the request, warning Delangis that “the stakes are huge for you when you get out.” Delangis will be on probation for three years after his release.
“I’m in no position to say Mr. Delangis wasn’t going to do something else if (the victim), despite her incredible terror, hadn’t had the courage to confront this defendant,” Lowy said, questioning the suggestion that Delangis did not intend to do anything to harm the woman.
“I’m not in any position to say what would or wouldn’t have happened.”
But Lowy said he was taking into account Delangis’ relatively young age in coming up with a sentence.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.