Sluss was sentenced on February 17, 2017 to a period of incarceration of 25 years with 16 suspended. Thus, he will serve a total active sentence of nine years in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. The remaining suspended sentence will be conditioned upon successful completion of eight years' supervised probation, no contact with victims, and the payment of restitution to the victims.
Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp said, "The breaking and entering into a home is one of the most serious and most offensive crimes that we see in court. It is beyond reprehensible to break into someone's house and safe-place, at nighttime while they are at home sleeping. Mr. Sluss robbed several families in our community of their peace of mind and the repercussions of his actions will remain with these victims for the rest of their lives." Slemp added, "My office will continue to seek harsh penalties for crimes like these to send a clear signal that this behavior will not be tolerated in our community."
The Commonwealth's overwhelming evidence showed that in March of 2016, Michael Sluss broke into multiple residences at nighttime in the Flatwoods section of Coeburn in Wise County. Once inside the homes, he stole property valued at more than $200.00 and a firearm. On at least one of the occasions, Sluss entered the home of victims while they were inside sleeping. On the date of that incident, Sluss attempted to enter a bedroom and woke the victims.
Sluss was previously convicted in 2014 of a felony in the Wise County Circuit Court for distribution of a schedule III controlled substance. He pleaded guilty to the prior charge without a plea agreement, was given a suspended sentence by the Court, and was placed on probation. At the time of these offenses, he was non-compliant with his probation officer and had absconded from supervision. When police arrested Sluss on the probation violation offenses, they found stolen property at Sluss's home, including a firearm matching one that had been recently stolen from a residence in Coeburn. Sluss later confessed to the crimes.
The case was successfully brought to a conclusion through the efforts of Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Slemp and senior assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Newberry.
Slemp stressed his appreciation for the diligent efforts of law enforcement in keeping the community safe. "We want to thank the efforts of Sheriff Ronnie Oakes, the Wise County Sheriff's Department, and the Coeburn Police Department in investigating this case and assisting us with the successful prosecution," Slemp said. "Thankfully, home invasions like these are rare in our community and we want to make sure that this remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family."