A homeless man pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and one count of first degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

Mark Silveira Jr., 34, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in Sutter County Superior Court on Friday to determine if he would be headed for trial. He had been charged with seven felony counts related to an incident on Dec. 2, 2019, when he broke into a dwelling at the River Bottoms and shot the owner of the dwelling when the owner confronted him.

Prior to the hearing, Silveira’s attorney, Donald Wahlberg Jr., spoke with his client who agreed to a plea deal offered by the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office. As part of the deal, Silveira pleaded no contest to attempted murder and was given the low-term sentence of five years. In addition, he admitted to a sentence enhancement for using a firearm, in this case a shotgun. The enhancement added 10 years to his sentence for a total of 15 years. He also pleaded to burglary, which carries a six-year sentence that he will serve concurrently. Silveira must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is released.

Michael Chilcott, 42, and Troy Denson, 35, are alleged to have been in the dwelling with Silveira when the incident took place and had preliminary hearings also scheduled for Friday morning.

Before beginning the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich informed the defendants that the plea deals being offered to them would be off the table once the preliminary hearing began and reminded Chilcott that due to him being convicted of two previous strike offenses he could face life in prison if found guilty in this case.

Chilcott took the deal after discussions with his attorney. He pleaded no contest to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Denson declined the offer of eight years in state prison in exchange for his plea and his hearing was held.

Five Sutter County Sheriff’s deputies testified in court as part of the hearing. Judge Susan Green found enough evidence for Denson to be tried for first degree burglary. Green increased Denson’s bail to $70,000 and he remains in Sutter County Jail. His arraignment on the information will be on June 1 at 9 a.m.

Silveira and Chilcott will be transported to state prison once the California Department of Corrections begins accepting new inmates. Currently, the department is accepting inmates from the larger counties, according to Green.

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