A Spokane man who avoided prison as a teenager for his role in a murder because a judge believed he could be rehabilitated marked his 67th arrest in the past five years over the weekend.
Nicholas Adam Limpert, now 25, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree burglary charge. If convicted, it would be his 10th felony since 2007.
Limpert declined an interview request. His father, Thomas Limpert, attended his arraignment in Spokane County Superior Court and said his son has “had a rough life.”
Limpert’s criminal history began at age 15 with the November 2000 robbery and murder of a disabled janitor in northwest Spokane. The decision to allow him to be charged as a juvenile angered the victim’s family, who said they doubted he could be rehabilitated.
Now news of a dizzying post-detention arrest record has the judge who sentenced him wondering the same thing.
“He probably should have been tried as an adult,” said Neal Rielly, who retired last fall after 15 years as a Spokane County Superior Court judge. “If I ruled the other way, it was a mistake.
“We are successful in rehabilitating kids. Obviously in this case we weren’t,” Rielly said.
But, he continued, “It’d be pretty easy if we could read into the future.”
Limpert and Brandon Molony, also 15 at the time, beat and robbed Kenneth D. Brown, 59, before Molony stabbed him to death. Both boys were ordered to stay in juvenile detention until they turned 21, though Limpert was released early after being credited for time served.
His adult criminal history began shortly after that. Molony has a short criminal history in Western Washington since his release but no felonies.
While Limpert has been arrested for domestic violence, most of his crimes have been property related.
His demeanor also seems to have changed. He was described as smirking and laughing during his sentencing for first-degree murder in 2001; Spokane police say he’s now well known for crying upon arrest.
Limpert’s latest charge stems from an arrest Feb. 7 in which police say they caught him and Robert J. McNabb, 20, burglarizing a house in the 4000 block of North Cincinnati Street. The men were released Thursday from jail because prosecutors didn’t file charges within 72 hours.
The necessary paperwork was completed just hours after Limpert left jail, though, Deputy Prosecutor Teresa Border said Tuesday.
Police arrested Limpert again Saturday night. He remains jailed on $100,000 bond and a state Department of Corrections probation hold.
Thomas Limpert said his son never got the help he needed while incarcerated as a teen.
“Those years, that’s when you learn a lot,” he said. “You either make it or you fail.”
Limpert said his son has trouble focusing and has been prescribed medication for attention deficit disorder. But he doesn’t take it and spends most of his time with friends the elder Limpert doesn’t like, his father said.
“I think a lot of it has to do with company,” Limpert said. “Birds of a feather flock together.”
Limpert acknowledges he’s had his own struggles. He spent about three years in federal prison for weapons and stolen property convictions in 2003. He said he’s cleaned up but struggles to help his son find a better life.
“All I can do is give him advice,” he said. “It’s up to him whether he takes it.”