LOCAL : Drunk Burglar Gets Year in Jail

From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports

A man who drank about 20 beers, then passed out while burglarizing an elderly couple's home, was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to felony charges.

William Spencer Castro, 21, an undocumented alien from El Salvador, was also sentenced to one year of house arrest, placed on five years' probation and ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Castro admitted he had about 20 beers before he broke into the home in Van Nuys in March, authorities said.

Armed with a seven-inch kitchen knife, Castro filled his pockets with jewelry, money and other items. He then passed out next to the couple's bed, authorities said.

Betty Bernds, 83, discovered Castro on the floor about 2 a.m. March 26 when she accidentally stepped on him as she got out of bed to help her husband, Edward, 84. Castro was still unconscious when police arrived.

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