T Nation

Crime and Punishment


Teen gets branded a felon for life for robbing man of 7 cents

A 15-year-old from Syracuse, Anthony Stewart, was sentenced to 2 to 6 years in a juvenile detention facility by Judge William Walsh of Onandaga County for a robbery in which the teenager took a mere 7 cents.

Walsh said he issued the harsh sentence because Stewart declined to plead guilty, choosing to fight the charges. A jury found him guilty of first degree robbery.

The victim had identified Stewart and a friend as the perpetrators, Walsh said, "and yet you still denied it," the Post-Standard newspaper of Syracuse reported.

"Well, that cost you," Walsh added.

The other teenager, Skyler Ninham, 16, pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison.

So Does the punishment fit the Crime?
FYI - felt to light for PWI



IDK.... intent, and the action of the robbery are probably the reasons - not the loot.


He changed his plea and he beat the shit out of the old guy. Changing the plea is a douche move but for beating up a 73 year old man he should be castrated. No reason to beat up the elderly not cool and unlike the 7yr olds in the "flash mobs" he should know right from wrong


He had no idea how much money that old man had. The money is incidental to the act of robbery and assault. Robbery and assault of an elderly man. He's a thug getting what a thug deserves. Good ruling.


It isn't the money that got him, Lou. It was the robbery and beating.

It ain't the juries fault that the kid is an idiot and that the old man was broke.


"Branded" a felon??

He IS a felon. Beating down a person is a violent crime. Whether the kid understood the ramifications of his action is not particularly important. The old man deserves justice.


Especially when the other kid figured out that pleading guilty would get him less time and nothing on the permanent record.

Plus, it happened on Xmas eve eve (the 23rd)


It depends how you describe to crime. 'for stealing 7 cents'? sure, way too harsh. For robbing, beating a 73-YO (!!), refusing to take responsibility? it shows recklessness, cruelty, complete disrespect for the law, and stupidity. He got jailed for THAT, plus failing the darwin test of self preservation. It may also be that his buddies suffered from his idiocy as well.
The lawyer worded his response so it sounds like a cruel punishment. oh poor vic-tim! But he's a lawyer, I can't tell if he realizes the 7 cents have almost nothing to do with the sentence.


By that, do you mean that if the old guy was carrying a substantial amount of cash, the kid would've likely got off with a lighter sentence because it would have "justified" the robbery and beating?


since he got tried as a juvenile wont his record get sealed at 18 and he will be able to say he has a clean record for the purpose of getting a job etc?


My friend from high school did 5 years on a much longer sentence for armed robbery (same city). With good behavior the kid will be out in 2. Doesn't seem too outrageous.


I think he's saying the same thing as everyone else, it doesn't matter how much money was stolen. The kid's lawyer is trying to make this about the dollar amount to confuse the fact that his client beat a 73 year old man.


No, I mean that it wasn't the amount of money that determined guilt or innocence, it was the act.

Saying that it was only worth 7 cents doesn't reduce the severity of the act. If that were the case, one could easily argue the opposite and put the kid in a cage for the rest of his life like this- "If the kid beat and robbed a guy for 7 measly cents, What would he do to someone with a thousand dollars?".


The kid's lawyer isn't trying to make this about the dollar amount, though. She is obviously trying to downplay the gravity of the crime, but her focus is on making the kid the victim - he has been "branded" for "life", you know....

My point was that if the old guy had a substantial amount of money on him at the time of the attack and not just seven cents, the kid's defense team would have used it as a reason for attacking him in the first place. The focus of the case would then have shifted from the actual act of violence to the reasons behind it (that is, the money). Then it would be about the dollar amount.

It also raises the question: at what point does the perpetrator become the victim?


Cool. Your post just sparked an idea in my head. I don't think they were putting a price on the crime because they couldn't. Instead, the defense lawyer was playing off the suffering of the kid against the suffering of the victim ( the kid has been "branded for life").


I agree for the most part. After completely flubbing a case that should have been plead out by handing it to a jury, I guess the attorney is trying to earn her keep in the court of public opinion.


Who knows if the lawyer even agrees with herself. Nobody likes to admit defeat. Have youever heard a lawyer say "Well, Shit. I just didn't do a very good job."? I would venture to say, no. She has to turn it around to look like a travesty to save face. By the way, fuck the little punk. I hope he gets his shit straight or just stays in jail.


Wow, there's must be a special place in hell for these kind of lawyers...

I can't fathom what kind of human it takes to try to convince people that the punk "was convicted for 7 cents" when he beat an old man in order to rob him...
This kind of lawyers should do the same time as the criminals they tried to "defend".


Xmas eve, eve is my favorite. Everybody is getting to the family x-mas destination, the whole house smells like x-mas cookies and meals, all the little kids are hovering around the tree, carolers are making early rounds...

The fact this crime happened on this night should have warranted life with no parole.

But, without having read more than the first page, I echo the sentiment that he is being punished for his intent. Had he come away with nothing or a million bucks, his crime was the same.


While I agree with your sentiment, I WANT THAT lawyer fighting for me. If I were in a situation (right or wrong) I want someone that's going to fight as much as possible to get me the best outcome.