Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Jesse Gregory, a career criminal, was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday after being convicted of a number of property crimes that occurred over the last few years in Lexington County. Gregory, who is also a registered sex offender with a prior history of burglary, grand larceny, criminal conspiracy, and fraud among other things, was convicted and sentenced Wednesday for more property crimes.
Steve Hughes, one of the many victims of Gregory whose car was broken into and stolen from during one of his last sprees, followed his case through the court system this time. He appeared at every hearing. Wednesday, Hughes spoke to the presiding judge and reminded him that the property crime rate is up in Lexington County. He attributed that to what he called, “Slaps on the wrist, by the judicial system. Hughes asked the judge openly Wednesday, “How many times are you going to slap him on the wrist before y'all do something different?” Surprisingly, the judge responded that in cases like this, he didn’t slap wrist! Instead of being angry as Hughes expected, the judge seemed pleased that someone was taking things seriously for once. He felt as an officer of the court, that was his job too.
Gregory’s public defender had asked for probation. Hughes reminded the judge that Gregory had been on two separate bonds while committing some of his crimes. He was out on bond when he got arrested for failure to stop for blue lights and then was re-arrested for felony possession of a firearm. He was also on bond when he was arrested for breaking into Hugh’s vehicle as well as others in the area. After hearing Hugh’s remarks, the judge handed down a sentence of five years for breaking into motor vehicles and 3 years for failing to stop for blue lights. He suspended none of the sentences.
Hughes said after the proceeding that it’s time people get more involved in the criminal justice system. “I was lucky I was able to attend each court proceeding. This judge was just as tired as I was of seeing the same people over and over again. At least we won’t have to deal with this guy for a while again in Lexington County. It’s about Time!”