A Middlesex County man has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison after being convicted of committing a 2011 home burglary in which a Plainfield resident walked in on the crime in progress, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.
Henry Tukes, 42, of Piscataway must serve at least five years before the possibility of parole after being labeled a persistent offender and receiving an extended term from presiding state Superior Court Judge Frederic R. McDaniel. A Union County jury in October took 23 minutes to find Tukes guilty following a three-day retrial of a case that produced a hung jury earlier this year.
The burglary victim left his home on West Second Street in Plainfield sometime around midday on Aug. 15, 2011 to take his wife out to lunch, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes, who prosecuted the case. When the man returned, he noticed signs of a break-in and asked his wife to wait outside, Barnes said.
The man went inside and spotted Tukes crouching in a corner. Tukes ran, but the victim cut across the block in an effort to prevent his escape. The man’s wife called 911, and officers who were in the area on patrol arrived within seconds and made the arrest, Barnes said.
An investigation revealed that entry was achieved through a basement window of the home. Tukes had 13 prior felony convictions dating back to 1989.