Guy Fieri's Lamborghini Thief, 19, Gets Life in Prison
Max Wade, the California teen who stole celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Lamborghini, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Wade, now 19, was 17 years old when he stole Fieri's yellow convertible from a San Francisco dealership in 2011. A year later in a drive-by shooting, he attempted to kill the boyfriend of a girl he liked.
The case is raising questions about how such a young man received a life sentence, and what his future will look like.
Attempted Murder and Grand Theft Auto
Wade was found guilty last year of the attempted murder of a 19-year-old rival who was sitting in a car with a girl whom Wade was pursuing, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
He was also convicted of auto theft and of being in possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with the cinematic "Missions Impossible"-meets-"The Bling Ring" rope-rappelling heist of Guy Fieri's Lamborghini.
Wade was prosecuted as an adult because of his calculated plan -- he allegedly stole the $200,000 car in an attempt to woo the girl.
Offenders convicted of the most serious crimes, including attempted murder, are sentenced under the indeterminate sentencing law and serve a term of life with possibility of parole.
Courts are allowed to impose additional charges, called sentencing enhancements, which allow for additional prison time if certain facts or conditions are met. In fact, California courts can impose multiple sentence enhancements to a single crime.
In this case, the judge gave Wade the maximum sentence and added 21 years and four months of enhancements for premeditation and use of a firearm.
Eligibility for Parole
Those sentenced to a life term with the possibility of parole can't be released on parole until the parole board determines that they are ready to be returned to society.
Inmates become eligible for parole hearings automatically, one year prior to their minimum eligible parole date. Wade is expected to be eligible for parole in 17 or 18 years, when he will be 36 or 37.
A 2011 study conducted by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center found that inmates serving life with the possibility of parole in California, mostly convicted murderers, spend an average of 20 years in prison and almost never commit new crimes after being released, reports the Chronicle.
According to the study, prisoners who are denied parole must wait an average of five years for their next hearing.
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