LJWorld.com weblogs The Lawrence Crime Blotter

Convenience-store robber headed to boot camp


A man convicted of robbing a local convenience store will get a chance to avoid prison by completing a boot camp.Darnell Thomas, 20, was sentenced this morning to 52 months in prison for an Aug. 24 armed robbery at Presto, 2330 Iowa. But Judge Robert Fairchild granted Thomas' request to go to the Labette Correctional Conservation Camp in Oswego as a step short of going to prison. If Thomas completes the 5-month camp successfully, he'll spend another six months on probation.But if he fails to finish the camp, he could be ordered to serve the prison sentence. Thomas has said he robbed the store because he lost his job, became homeless, and didn't know what else to do for money.-contributed by [Eric Weslander.][1] [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander


rollcar 11 years, 3 months ago

I like this idea. Seems more forward thinking than a traditional prison sentence for somebody who apparently committed a crime of desparation. Now had he actually shot somebody, off to the clink he should go.

Moderateguy 11 years, 3 months ago

I don't see how a 52 month sentence equates to 5 months plus 6 months probation. Looks like a pretty sweet deal to me. Forced military service to make up the rest would straighten him out further.

feeble 11 years, 3 months ago

"Forced military service to make up the rest would straighten him out further."

While that might prove instructional for Mr. Thomas, what good does it do the US and the US Military to turn the Army into a dumping ground for petty theives and would-be criminals?

Moderateguy 11 years, 3 months ago

Judges used to do it all the time. OK, how about this? If he screws up again, he get's double the original sentence tacked on to whatever he's given the next time.

Mike Blur 11 years, 3 months ago

Moderate and feeble, no one said anything about the US Military.

There are numerous privately-operated "boot camps" run throughout the USA for offenders of various levels. None of these boot camps has any tie to the US Military.

Mike Blur 11 years, 3 months ago

smitty, I recalled that as well...but I was speaking about the current article. Perhaps modern-day, privately run boot camps are replacing the "jail or Army" choice of judges of yore.

I actually found an internet article that addresses the "jail or military" question. I was quite surprised to find out, just about a year ago, the US Army modified its regulations to accept adjudicated offenders: http://www.esquire.com/features/articles/2006/060610_mfe_July_06_Fella.html

bearded_gnome 11 years, 3 months ago

he was desperate, didn't know what to do for money...wonder if he thought of work?

trinity 11 years, 3 months ago

good one b_g

actually there aren't a whole lot of success stories out of labette boot camp, sad to say. and they have to be screened first-generally judges have no idea if their "order" to boot camp can even really happen.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 3 months ago

He should join the French Foreign Legion. They accept criminals, plus he'll see the world, learn French and get a new identity.

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