A burglar up for sentencing did not appreciate the severity or significance of his crimes, the judge in the case noted, citing a pre-sentence report.
Defendant Clarence Thompson seemed to reinforce that in court Wednesday morning, smiling as the judge recounted the four-county crime spree he took part in last year.
After calling Thompson out for smiling, Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago soon spelled out Thompson’s situation.
“I would point out that you’re standing here today with two state corrections officers behind you, you’re in shackles and you’ve lost all your freedom at the age of 20,” the judge told Thompson.
“I would hope that would have some sort of impact on you and would precipitate you to want turn your life around because I can’t imagine, at the age of 20, this is the life you want for yourself. But if it is, that’s your choice, sir.”
Thompson, of Binghamton, pleaded guilty earlier this year in Schenectady County Court to one count of third-degree burglary. He had been accused in two Schenectady County burglaries, one at a McDonald’s and another at a Dunkin’ Donuts.
For his Schenectady County plea, Thompson received 1 to 4 years in prison. That sentence, though, is to run at the same time as a longer sentence in Albany County. There, Thompson is serving 41⁄3 to 13 years in prison for multiple business break-ins there.
In the Albany County case, four people were charged with breaking into at least 12 businesses in September and October 2011. The four were identified through surveillance video, GPS evidence and street pole cameras.
Thompson and co-defendant Jeremy Cade, 21, formerly of Binghamton, went on a burglary spree in Albany, breaking into eight businesses over a six-hour period Oct. 4, 2011, and taking cash and electronics. Two others, drivers Courtney Cade, 23, of Owego, and Shea Hobbs, 24, of Albany, also were charged.
Jeremy Cade was sentenced earlier this year to 3 1⁄2 to 7 years in prison, while Thompson got up to 13 years. Hobbs received probation, while Courtney Cade received one year in jail.
Only Thompson was charged in Schenectady County. In that case, he was also ordered to pay more than $9,000 in restitution.
Drago noted that Thompson’s reason for committing the burglaries was that he needed money. She asked that the Department of Correctional Services screen him for any available vocational programs to help him to find a job upon his release.