Thief Disses Judge in Court, Gets Max
May. 15, 2003
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) _ A jewelry thief lost his temper at sentencing when a judge accused him of showing no remorse.
``Are you gonna sentence me to the max? Is that what you're getting at?'' Herminio DeJesus yelled. ``Go ahead! You're going to give it to me anyway!''
Warned that he risked being held in contempt of court, DeJesus quieted down while Judge Craig Doran upbraided him further, the Daily Messenger reported. The judge then handed down a maximum sentence of 3 1/2-to-seven years in prison.
DeJesus, 21, was convicted last week of third-degree grand larceny for stealing jewelry from his girlfriend's parents last year. The family, who took DeJesus in to help him save money and find a job, said the stolen items, including the couple's wedding rings, were worth $12,000.
The defense maintained that DeJesus accepted responsibility and was remorseful _ though he insisted he only took four or five pieces of jewelry worth less than $1,000.
His lawyer, David Morabito, alleged that DeJesus' girlfriend also was stealing jewelry along with a friend who admitted pawning some of it. He asked for a minimum two-to-four-year sentence.
In addition, DeJesus denied assertions by his girlfriend's mother, Linda Breese, that he was abusive toward her and her daughter.
``I don't know where they get all this stuff,'' he said, adding that he ``got bamboozled'' and ``got convicted of a crime I didn't do.''
Before handing down the punishment Tuesday, the judge cited DeJesus' considerable criminal history, including an assault conviction for attacking a veterans' medical center patient.