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A Tennessee man who stole a semi-truck and a box of frozen chicken was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
51-year-old Felix Hall was pulled over by police in 2012 in a Freightliner big rig that had been reported stolen, according to a Shelby County District Attorney's office press release. In the truck, police found bolt cutters, a cut lock, and a box of partially frozen chicken breasts that had been stolen from a local Wendy's restaurant.
While theft is a serious crime, how did stealing a truck and some chicken earn Hall almost three decades in lockup?
Two of the main factors in determining the penalties and sentencing for a theft conviction are the value of the property stolen and the number of previous theft or other crimes the defendant may have been convicted of in the past.
In Hall's case, the theft of the truck was a theft of property worth $10,000 or more, making it a Class C felony under Tennessee theft law. Additionally, for breaking into the Wendy's freezers, Hall was charged with burglary, which is generally an unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime, a Class D felony under Tennessee law.
Under Tennessee sentencing guidelines, the minimum sentence for a Class C felony is three years, and for a Class D felony, two years. However, as a repeat offender Hall's sentences were far more severe.
Hall was charged as a persistent criminal for the theft charge, earning him the maximum prison sentence for a Class C felony: 15 years in prison. He was charged as a career criminal for the burglary charge, earning him 12 years, the maximum for a Class D felony.
Hall was also separately convicted for theft under $500 for the chicken and sentenced to 11 months and 29 days, but that sentence will run concurrently with his other sentences.
Hopefully the Hall's prison cafeteria will serve something other than chicken.
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