Justice wasn’t served

Published 9:46 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Last month, a man named Joshua Mullins was sentenced to one year in prison for breaking into a home in South Point.

What did that man steal from the home? It wasn’t medication, electronics, jewelry or even money.

What he stole was cans of beer, soda, Ramen noodles and a can of Chef Boyardee lasagna. His getaway vehicle was a girls’ bicycle taken from the home as well.

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Certainly one could assume he realizes now that his haul wasn’t worth the fourth-degree burglary charge and the punishment he received.

But that’s a proper punishment for breaking into someone’s home. Taking away a family’s sense of security in their own home is a crime that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

And it usually isn’t in Lawrence County.

So why did two men — who were caught red-handed last year in the home of an Ironton woman, one of whom had wads of stolen cash in his pockets — merely get a slap on the wrist at their sentencing hearing last week.

On Friday, Chris Destocki, 35, of Ironton, and Nathaniel J. Delong, 37, of South Point, were sentenced to three years probation. Each was charged with third-degree burglaries.

Visiting judge Dale Crawford handed down the punishment, if you can even call it punishment.

What a disappointing message to send to the victim in that case and all future victims of burglaries in Lawrence County. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office should have argued for a sentence with teeth and the judge should have taken the charge more seriously.

Being the victim of a home invasion is something that stays with a person and the legal system is their only remedy for some sort of closure and justice.

Justice was not served in this case and that is simply disappointing and unacceptable.