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Man gets prison term after 52nd conviction

A Grand Rapids, Michigan, man has been sentenced to five to 15 years' prison time for larceny from a building. The man, who has been convicted of 51 other offenses throughout his life, attempted to assure the judge in the case the most recent conviction was a wake-up call, and he intended to abide by the law in the future. Sadly, the judge showed no leniency, exceeding state-recommended guidelines of just 34 months in custody. The judge said he considered the man's extensive criminal record when deciding the sentence.

The man was convicted of the charge after a bench trial for allegedly tricking a gas station clerk out of nearly $100. The defendant had also been accused of larceny from a person, but that charge was dismissed because of inconclusive evidence. The defendant admitted during his trial that he had chosen to confuse the clerk because he wanted to make a profit.

Authorities report the man used a $100 bill to purchase a lottery ticket. Through a detailed scam, he managed to confuse the clerk into handing him a bundle of cash in change. The man had intentionally sought to confuse the retail worker so he could make additional money, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors in the case also allege the man has made his living using the scam model, which ultimately led to 17 felony convictions and more than 30 misdemeanor convictions. Those previous offenses include resisting police and attempted retail fraud, among other charges. Prosecutors and the judge said the only solution in this situation was to remove the defendant from society so he could not perpetuate his crimes again.

This man presented with a very unusual set of circumstances, as most defendants are not facing their 52nd criminal charge when they come before the courts. Still, his attorney was able to successfully argue for the dismissal of at least one charge, which significantly lowered the man's prison term. If you are facing similar charges, consider consulting a qualified criminal defense attorney to help preserve your rights from arrest to sentencing and beyond.

Source:  www.lansingstatejournal.com, "52-time Michigan con headed to prison" Lisa Roose-Church, Jun. 10, 2013