RICHARDSON — Brittany Barton can't get the image out of her mind — a burglar in her bedroom in the middle of the night.
"It was the creepiest thing I've ever seen," she said. "The worst part is feeling like you can't protect your child. You can't bring him home to a place that is safe."
A flashlight scanning the room startled her awake early one morning last September. As she nudged her fiancée to get up, Barton watched the intruder go through her dresser.
He finally got spooked and sneaked out of the room when Barton’s fiancée, Jeremy Bay, asked "What?" to her insistent nudging.
Police quickly caught the intruder, Brandon Jordan, 19. He’s a neighbor who was already on probation for theft when he was caught with cash, computers and a TV from Barton's home.
In December, a judge sentenced Jordan to eight years in prison. But on Thursday, the teenager will be considered for something called "shock probation."
"It's called 'shock probation,' but I'm the one that's shocked that you can come in, stand over me in my room and rob our house and do four months of an eight-year sentence," Bay said. The legislature passed shock probation years ago. It lets a judge summon a convict back to court up to six months after being sentenced. Inmates have no idea why they're there until they are surprised with probation — a chance to go free — "shocking" them back into society.
The statute is not often used since few convicts qualify.
"I think the biggest indicator in this particular case is the defendant's age,” said legal expert Pete Schulte. “I think what they're trying to focus on is, this an individual who can be rehabilitated going forward... and is prison the right place for that? Now he's always going to be a convicted felon."
"The chance of him getting to live right behind us again? That's unreal," Barton said.
It’s unsettling, too. But the couple is setting aside fear and returning to court to demand that Brandon Jordan face justice.