Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vile Manipulators of Perception

Oh, the heartache. The pauvre innocent! He only got 7 cents, and the judge wants to make him a felon....or so the headline says.

Syracuse 15-year-old gets two to six years for 7-cent robbery

Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, 12:28 PM
Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011, 1:25 PM
By Tim Knauss / The Post-Standard 
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A 15-year-old Syracuse boy will spend the next two to six years in juvenile detention and the rest of his life as a felon as a result of his sentencing today for a robbery that netted him and an accomplice seven cents.Onondaga County Judge William Walsh rejected a defense lawyer’s request to treat Anthony Stewart, of West Onondaga Street, as a youthful offender. That means his felony conviction will remain on his permanent record.Walsh said he might have ruled differently if Stewart had pleaded guilty, as did his accomplice, Skyler Ninham, 16.

Earlier this month Walsh sentenced Ninham as a youthful offender to one and one-third to four years in state prison. Stewart, who is not old enough for prison, will be sent to a juvenile detention facility.

Both Ninham and the 73-year-old robbery victim identified Stewart as a participant in the crime, Walsh said. “And yet you still denied it,” Walsh said to Stewart. “Well, that cost you.”

Stewart was convicted by a jury of first-degree robbery in July, two days before Ninham pleaded guilty. According to prosecutors, Stewart and Ninham ran up behind the victim Dec. 22 and knocked him to the ground. Ninham kicked the victim and Stewart punched him in the face, breaking his glasses, before the victim handed over the seven cents in his pocket, prosecutors said. The two teens had handguns, which Stewart later said were BB guns, prosecutors said.
Lawyer Laurin Haddad, who represented Stewart, said afterward that she was disappointed by the judge’s decision to deny youthful-offender treatment. In a presentencing report, a probation officer also recommended treating Stewart as a youthful offender.

“For seven cents, now you’re making someone a felon for the rest of his life,” she said.

Someone please inform both the headline writer and the lawyer that he wasn't made a felon for a mere seven cents. That was all that his brutal and remorseless crime netted him....that, and a nice sentence  to remind him that crime does not pay. 

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