Judge Sentences Car Thief To Maximum Possible Punishment
John Jones was sentenced to 5 1/2 years for his role in a tri-county auto theft thing
"You are a career criminal. And you're not particularly good at it, by the way," Judge Eugene Lucci told John Jones during Jones's sentencing Thursday morning.
Jones, 41, had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in a pattern of corrupt behavior, grand theft and two counts of receiving stolen property in Lake County Court of Common Pleas.
Jones was part of a tri-county auto theft ring that Mentor Police and several other local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies broke up earlier this year.
Jones has a lengthy criminal history. He's been convicted of robbery and several other crimes. He was on parole for a conviction gross sexual imposition at the time of his latest arrest.
Assistant Lake County Prosecutor asked Lucci to sentence Jones to 4 1/2 years in prison.
"Dating back to 1991, he's been to prison six times," she noted
Jones's attorney, Werner Barthol, suggested the judge give him three years in prison, instead.
"There's more to him than his record indicates," Barthol said. "He's had some tough times with his family."
When Jones had an opportunity to speak, he apologized for his actions. He asked the judge for leniency and said he wanted to be a better father to his three children.
"You knew you had three kids when you were committing these crimes?" Lucci asked.
"Yes, sir," Jones said.
The judge then asked when Jones had the realization he needed to be a better father.
"I'm not going to try to convince you that I'm a perfect person," Jones said.
"That's impossible," Lucci replied.
The judge ultimately decided to sentence Jones to 5 1/2 years in prison -- 4 1/2 for his role in the auto theft ring and another year for violating his probation.
He also fined Jones more than $60,000, the first part of which will be used to pay restitution to his victims.