McMasters sentenced to prison for home invasion

ALPENA – Eric Douglas McMasters was sentenced to prison Monday for his role as a bystander in a home invasion of a 73-year-old woman.

The crime was committed during a three-man spree in early December 2012, which also included the burglary of an Alpena sausage shop and a case involving methamphetamine.

McMasters received two to 15 years in prison for breaking and entering a home at 911 Merchant St., Dec. 3, 2012, where he removed valuables. He received two to five years as an accessory to the home invasion Dec. 7, and 17 months to 10 years for supplying Sudafed for the manufacture of meth, Prosecutor Ed Black, said.

Authorities said McMasters had been on parole for the malicious destruction of property when the crimes occurred. All of his sentences will be served at the same time. McMasters has credit for 158 in jail and could be free in 19 months.

McMasters was along for the ride Dec. 7, when Dylan Shane Fitzpatrick, 19, allegedly broke into the home of Bettylou Bartley. After hitting her on the head with a vase, Fitzpatrick stuffed a suitcase and a pillow case with $26,000 worth of coins, silver and jewelry from her home and her safe. He is to be sentenced June 17 in circuit court, and faces life in prison. A third suspect, Brandon J. Krause is out on bond.

The valuables have never been recovered, authorities said.

The 19-year-old Alpena man thought Fitzpatrick was going into the home to buy marijuana, but when he saw the valuables, he knew otherwise, sealing his role as accessory, Black said.

Before the sentence was handed down by 26th Circuit Court Judge Michael Mack, McMasters turned to several of the victims and said, “I just want to apologize to the victims for what I did.”

Otherwise, he was silent and showed no emotion when Mack issued the sentences.

“His statement or lack thereof indicates he doesn’t have remorse,” Mack said to the audience, adding the victims’ lives had been thrown into turmoil.

Bartley was hospitalized and went through surgery, because of bleeding in her brain.

“God forbid it should ever happen to you,” Mack said to McMasters.

McMaster’s father was in the courtroom during sentencing. Kirk McMasters of Hubbard Lake said although his son had been born out of wedlock, he had provided child support. He also spent $50,000 to send the youth to a private school downstate in an effort to get him help.

“When I heard what had happened … Well. I know Eric. He has a temper,” McMaster said.

Once released from jail, Kirk McMasters said he wants to get his son out of Alpena and into the country, where he would be away from bad influences.

“We care about him,” McMasters said.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.