'Christmas thief' sentenced to eight years in prison

October 19, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - A man convicted of offenses including burglaries during Christmas last year was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday.

Thomas E. Southers, 23, appeared for sentencing before Judge Hunter Daugherty in Garrard Circuit Court, who refused Defense Attorney Susanne McCullough's request for probation.

The Garrard County Grand Jury had handed up four indictments against Southers based on charges including burglary, theft by unlawful taking more than $300, first-degree criminal mischief, fleeing/evading police, driving under the influence of intoxicants and possession of marijuana. Southers' crimes occurred between Dec. 24 and May 9, according to court records.

In pushing for probation, McCullough said Southers would not receive the drug rehabilitation he needs in prison.

"He's admitted to it," said McCullough. "He has no prior felonies."

But Daugherty refused and stuck with the recommended sentence that was given when Southers entered a guilty plea Sept. 19.

Daugherty spoke to Southers directly. "Some of your offenses were based on a need for money or drugs, but others were meaningless," he said. "Destroying property. That's an obvious disregard for anyone else. Breaking into people's houses on Christmas Day. I'm sorry, Mr. Southers, you've sealed your own doom."


McCullough asked Daugherty if he would grant Southers shock probation after six months.

"You can file it, but I wouldn't hold out any hope," Daugherty replied.

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