Robbing a handful of change and lying about it cost a 15-year-old a lifetime as a felon.
With his accomplice Skyler Ninham, Anthony Stewart ran up behind a 73-year-old man last December. Stewart punched the man in the face, while Ninham kicked him on the head. They were holding handguns, which Stewart later admitted were BB guns. The net gain of the crime was mere seven cents.
Stewart was sentenced to two to six years in juvenile detention on first degree robbery charge. After he finishes serving the terms, felony conviction will remain as his permanent record. Stewart’s defense lawyer Laurin Haddad requested the boy be treated as a youthful offender, but Onondaga County Judge William Walsh rejected.
A few weeks ago, Ninham had gotten one to four years as a youthful offender after pleading guilty.
“For seven cents, now you’re making someone a felon for the rest of his life,” Haddad told Syracuse.com.
Well, the judge says the harsh sentencing was not just for the money he robbed but for lying about the crime. Stewart had confessed the crime right after the arrest but tried to fight the case by denying it later. He ineffectively argued that he and Ninham were at a friend’s house when the robbery happened when Ninham and the victim identified Stewart as the accomplice.
“If you admitted like a man, then I would have sentenced you exactly as I did Mr. Ninham,” the judge told Stewart, according to the Daily News. “But you still denied committing a crime, despite a mountain of evidence.”
Stewart’s lawyer told the Daily News that he would likely appeal. “It’s a shame that this happened over seven cents,” Haddad said