Cady receives 30 months in DOC

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter

Alex T. Cady, 19, of Preemption, was sentenced to 30 months in the Department of Corrections on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. He appeared in court at a sentencing hearing in front of Judge James G. Conway. The lead case in the sentencing hearing involved a 2008 charge of theft of more than $300, but less than $10,000, a Class 3 felony.

Cady entered a negotiated guilty plea in exchange for a cap of 40 months in the DOC on Sept. 29, 2008. The case involved theft of a tanker of fuel taken from FS Goldstar.

Both the state and defense relied upon a Dec. 1, 2008 pre-sentence investigation and report during the sentencing hearing. Defense Attorney Steve Hanna’s request for a continuance on the sentencing was denied, because Judge Conway said there had already been two other continuances granted. Hanna told the court that Riverside Treatment Center had agreed to admit Cady to an inpatient bed that day at the alcohol and drug treatment facility.

Hanna argued that the defendant’s actions were more along the line of pranks and requested probation for the crime, because there was no request for restitution because little fuel was removed from the tanker. “Based upon his youth and inexperience I ask for probation today. He really does have an opportunity,” said Hanna.

State’s Attorney Greg McHugh argued that prison was more appropriate. He said that the crime was premeditated, in that it took place after dark and a proper vehicle was needed to hook up to the tanker filled with fuel. He added that the defendant has had a wide range of criminal activities over the past three to four years, including felony behavior that involved numerous property damages. He said the defendant also had a history of drug and alcohol infractions and could avail himself of DOC treatment options.

He argued that the sentence would also act as a deterrent to others, because of the brazen act of theft. He also requested that the court impose a $1,000 fine in this case. McHugh also pointed to an incident when the defendant was a minor where he killed a cat, saying the defendant had a “streak of cruelty.”

Cady also spoke to the judge before sentencing was pronounced. “I’m just looking for another chance to change my ways and get back to being a law abiding person,” he said.

Judge Conway’s decision was sprinkled with the standard rhetoric of what it costs to keep a prisoner in the DOC — $21,622 a year, based on 2005 financial impact data.

Conway said that aggravating factors far outweighed any mitigating factors in his decision and labeled the theft premeditated. “This is a premeditated felony theft, with a 500 gallon tanker and pump valve valued over $300,” he said. He pointed to the fact that the defendant had to obtain a powerful enough truck to haul the tanker and it occurred in the darkening hours. He said the defendant had a continuing and escalating history of crime, including juvenile cases.

He said that the prison term was appropriate “to deter others from committing the same act of community theft in a rural county. “This defendant’s disregard for the law shows he is likely to commit other offences.”

Another charge against the defendant, driving under the influence of alcohol, was dismissed by the court. “This case involved a confrontation with neighbors,” said Conway. Cady was given credit for 48 days served in Mercer County Jail. The state’s request of a $1,000 fine was denied.

A final plea from the defense to have the defendant serve time in Impact Incarceration, a boot-camp alternative to prison, was denied.