How jewelry robbery could land Syracuse man in prison for the rest of his life!

Theodore Robinson(Provided photo)

By Douglass Dowty

Syracuse, NY — A Syracuse man who was convicted after trial of robbing a woman of jewelry at a Salvation Army women’s shelter could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Theodore Robinson, 57, got the unusually long sentence because of his 40-year criminal history. Previous crimes — in New York City — included three other robberies and a manslaughter, County Court Judge Stephen Dougherty said today.

That made Robinson eligible for a relatively rare designation as a persistent felony offender: that is, convicted of his third felony.

But many criminals have three or more felonies on their record. Why did Robinson get treated more harshly?

For one, the law requires that the felonies be spread out over a period of years. In other words, a crime spree that leads to a bunch of felonies in a short period doesn’t count.

Second, the previous felonies must have each led to more than a year of prison. In other words, a persistent felony offender must serve prison time, get out and commit more crimes, go back to prison, get out a second time and commit even more crimes that warrant a third prison term.

Third, judges can decide against persistent felony status for criminals who fit those circumstances. In fact, the law requires the judge to lay out reasons for designating a persistent felon.

So what does persistent felon mean?

Persistent felons face the same sentence as a convicted murderer. In Robinson’s case, he faced 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison for the robbery at the homeless shelter.

But he was sentenced by Dougherty today to 15 years to life in prison.

Dougherty laid out Robinson’s history, which included a 1981 manslaughter conviction in the Bronx, as well as three other robbery convictions.

In fact, Robinson had been out of prison for only 17 years out of the past four decades, prosecutor Anthony Copani said.

His parole had been revoked five times since 2002, the judge said.

During the February 2017 robbery, Robinson attacked a woman at a shelter located at 1704 S. Salina St. The woman, who was helping women at the shelter, said the robbery took away her sense of safety.

Robinson later blamed the robbery on drug and alcohol use, but the judge noted video showing Robinson examining the jewelry to see if it was real after the robbery.

There was an accusation that Robinson pulled what looked like a gun during the robbery, but a jury did not find him guilty of that crime.

Defense lawyer Eric Jeschke argued that the judge should not have ruled Robinson a persistent felony offender, noting that a previous plea offer did not include such a provision.

But the judge replied that plea agreements are a way to settle a case, not necessarily to provide the punishment that someone deserves.

For his part, Robinson said he feared he was going to prison for the rest of his life.

“I know my history does not paint a good picture at all,” he said. “In no way am I a monster.”

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Police: Syracuse Trio Busted With 5 Guns, Heroin And Cocaine!


Jaytaj R. Battle, 22, Anita G. Mason, 46, and Terrell L. Porch, Jr., 17 (left to right).

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When Syracuse police officers¬†searched 105 Lombard Avenue, they found guns and drugs spread throughout the house, according to felony complaints filed in City of Syracuse court.

In all, police found five guns, four digital scales, $4,000, 3.7 grams of cocaine, 5.5 grams of heroin, glassine envelopes and rubber bands, court records said.

Anita G. Mason, 46, Jaytaj R. Battle, 22, and Terrell L. Porch Jr., 17, were arrested Wednesday and charged with various drug-related and weapon-related crimes, court records said.

Mason and Battle face four counts of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, six counts of felony criminal possession of a weapon, five counts of criminal possession of a firearm, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property, two counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal use of drug paraphernalia, court records said.

The two were also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, court records said.

Porch faces two counts of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, one count of felony criminal possession of a weapon, five counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon, five counts of criminal possession of a firearm and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, court records said.

The cocaine was split into three separate containers — two knotted plastic bags and a pill bottle — court records said. One of the plastic bags was found in a backpack in the dining room while the other plastic bag and pill bottle were found on top of an HVAC work duct, court records said.

More than three grams of the heroin was split into 84 glassine envelopes, while 2.2 grams of heroin were found in a knotted plastic bag, court records said. The envelopes were spread throughout the house: three in a dresser drawer, 41 in the backpack, 30 on a bedroom floor and 10 on a dining room table, court records said.

Officers also found marijuana in multiple rooms, court records said.

One of the guns, a Bryco Arms/Jennings .380 caliber gun, was found in a top dresser in a bedroom, court records said. A Ruger P95 9mm gun was found on the floor near a kitchen sink, court records said. Three guns — a Llama Mini-Max .40 caliber gun, a Bryco Arms/Jennings 9mm gun and a Raven Arms MP-25 .25 caliber gun — were found in a blue Adidas duffle bag in a front bedroom, court records said. Each gun was loaded with the proper ammunition, court records said.

Two of the guns were reported stolen, court records said. The Llama Mini-Max .40 was reported stolen in the City of Fulton on Aug. 2, 2016 and the Ruger P95 9mm was reported stolen in Baldwin, Georgia on Dec. 14, 2010.

One scale was found in a top dresser drawer in a rear bedroom, two scales were found in a kitchen cabinet and another scale was found on top of a cold air vent, according to court records.

Mason and Porch are being held on $50,000 bail and $100,000 bond while Battle is being held on $40,000 bail and $80,000 bond, according to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office’s justice center inmate lookup.

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