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November 12, 2013 - 5:14pm

Man who admitted to multiple burglaries in 2008 given chance to avoid prison term

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

A former Batavia resident accused of five burglaries locally has a chance to carry on his life without serving any time in prison.

Judge Robert C. Noonan ruled in County Court today that Samuel G. Malone, 27, can serve a year's interim probation before he is officially sentenced on his guilty pleas Aug. 12 to two counts of burglary, 3rd, and one count of attempted burglary, 3rd.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told Noonan he thought a prison term was the appropriate way to deal with Malone, who committed his local burglaries in 2008 and avoided detection until he was arrested in another county in January.

The arrest in another jurisdiction helped Batavia PD match Malone's DNA to blood found at three burglary scenes in the city.

Malone was later charged in another local residential burglary and admitted to burglarizing the former Clor's location on Pearl Street.

Noonan was apparently persuaded to give Malone another chance based on pre-sentence reports from the probation departments in Allegheny County, where Malone now lives, and Genesee County. Both reports recommended no prison time for Malone.

The maximum sentence available to Noonan was eight to 16 years in prison.

Malone is on probation on his conviction in another county, so he faces consequences there as well as Genesee County if he violates the terms of his release.

For previous coverage of the Samuel Malone case, click here.

david spaulding
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..there is no time if you do the crime,in genesee county... imagine how the victims feel.....isn't this the same judge who gave probation to a 63 count indictment last week.? ... i'd think the people in law enforcement would be a little frustrated too. I mean all the time and effort to catch this guy and he walks out of the court house a free man.

Scott Ogle
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"Both reports recommended no prison time for Malone."

I'd like to know the reasoning here. I doubt I'd buy it, but I'd like to know.

Kellie Meisner
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This is an awfully big slap in the face to his victims. There is no justice in this world whatsoever!

Wendy Smith
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So sad that people make judgements WITHOUT knowing ALL the facts of the case. The "victims" were establishments, not private homes~ and 3 were attempts where a window was broken. He was working a full time job, unfortunately he had an addiction that he could not control without the proper help. He is very remorseful and is in the process of making restitution. He has been in treatement since April and is currently volunteering his time to various community organizations to help others. He has a heart to help at risk youth and has worked with S.A.D.D. to tell youth his story of his addiction and the consequences of bad decisions. He has spoken to schools and a town meeting in hopes to reach youth. He is on the right path, and 1 year INTERIM probation is NOT his final sentence. He has a long road ahead of him- and if you read the article, he still has to go in front of the judge in 1 year for final sentencing. Jail time is NOT out of the question. Judge Noonan was simply giving him the opportunity to COMPLETE his treatment in light of the good progress that he has made WITHOUT any relapses!!! There IS justice in this world. Remember, that justice goes both ways. Justice to someone who has a very real addiction problem that needed help- and justice for those that he wronged. He is taking full responsibility for his actions and making his wrongs right to those he offended. He is also getting the help he needs to be a productive member of society. He still is paying the price in many respects and still has to face final sentencing. Decent people do fall victim to addictions- it doesn't make them scumbags. I hope that no one here has a family member that falls victim to addictions.

Lorie Cook
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Ummm, Wendy, establishments are still owned by people. My house was burglarized at the beginning of the year…in fact on new years day. Luckliy I was not home at the time, but still I have thoughts of what if I had been here. The person who broke into my home had, like mr malone, been in trouble and an addict. If you were faced with someone drug sick yielding a knife, perhaps you would not give a crap about the whose who of it. Either way it is WRONG!

Wendy Smith
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Lorie~ I never said that Mr. Malone's actions were right. They were not, and he, more than anyone else, knows that. I am simply stating that people make remarks and judgments about only what limited information they read or hear through the media. The media does not and cannot print every single detail of every story. Each court case is different with different circumstances that the general public is not aware of. Judges have a very difficult job and their decisions are based on many factors and recommendations from professionals involved with the case. They also have to look at the big picture such as perceived level of threat to society and cost to taxpayers. In New York State it cost taxpayers over $60,000 a year per inmate in prison. (http://www.thecrimereport.org/news/inside-criminal-justice/2012-02-the-h...). Not everyone who commits a crime should get thrown in prison. His actions were wrong, but they were non-violent.
Like yourself, I have been the victim of having my car broken into and many items stolen as well as my home being broken into and items stolen. In both cases, the person responsible was never found. I realize the trauma of such an experience- but I also realize the trauma of addiction and that some people are decent people who need help and do not come from a family of addicts. Even professional people fall victim to addictions- it does not make them scum. Some people are not remorseful for their actions and we keep seeing their names in the media. Others, given the chance to receive help and turn their lives around, seize the opportunity afforded to them and become successful, contributing members of society. Mr. Malone is one of those individuals who is not only thriving in treatment, but is giving to the community and reaching out to help young people so that they don't fall victim to the destruction of addiction. Why is it that we as a society don't give people like Mr. Malone an opportunity to prove himself and offer support instead of condemning him?

Doug Yeomans
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Addictions are an excuse for bad behaviors. Being an addict is a choice. An addiction never forces a person to do anything. They make the choice to continue the addiction and to do the wrong thing. People like to say that addiction isn't a choice, but that's only because it gives them the excuse to continue being an addict.

Of course he should own-up to what he did, but he should also face the punishment. It's called personal responsibility..being responsible for your own actions. There's not enough of that going around, it seems.

Kyle Couchman
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Wendy while I dont share Doug's belief that addiction is completely a choice. I do believe that they make choices to continue to be a slave to that addiction. We live in a free society and people are free to make choices as to how they act and live. However they must be willing to accept the consequences of those choices.

No one has the absolute entire story except for 2 people. The victim and the perpetrator. Even your own opinion on Mr. Malone's situation isnt complete. Even if Mr. Malone related it to you himself because it's human nature to relate incidents in a favorable light to the person relating such story.

Decent people or scumbags...doesnt matter which group someone belongs to, the intent of justice is that it judges and applies penalties the same. Your statement that his crimes were less serious because he victimized establishments instead of homes is ridiculous. Theft is theft, plain and simple, if you are robbed at work instead of home does that reduce the trauma and psychologic consequences of being victimized? I dont believe it does.

Kudos for Mr. Malone's efforts to make right the things he did wrong. Making amends is part of conquering and addiction. Its a reasonable expectation of anyone who has done wrong to others. I admire the fact he will stand up and do this as alot of people would like to just ignore the consequences and start over rather than make amends. But your defense of him kinda underminds the value of his doing such and your requests of understanding further devalue his efforts to stand up and conquer the effects .

While we all try to be fair in life. The cold hard reality is that life isnt fair, and theres no guarantee it ever will be. To demand such fairness while ignoring the same fairness to the victims in my viewpoint is very wrong. If Mr. Malone thinks this is not fair then he is welcome to join the conversation but self appointed spokespeople dont do much except hurt either the victims or increase the negativity of bystanders discussions as they then feel bullied about having opinions.

mike nixon
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Judge Noonan has made the right move here. He did do the crime, now you have a chance to change the direction that your going in, so change it. If you don't and if history repeats it self, Judge Noonan won't hesitate to run this guy through the ringer.

Jason Crater
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I don't see the big issue with giving the guy a second chance. If he blows it, he'll end up in jail at the delayed sentencing.

If he succeeds, good for him.

I'm pulling for him to make a recovery and become a productive member of society.

Judith Kinsley ...
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I agree with Wendy. Obviously our prison system does not work and rather than rehabilitating, the end result is more educated criminals with less opportunity to become productive members of society once they are released. Not to mention the high cost to us all for this broken system. Clearly Judge Noonan is more informed and if he sees hope that the man could be rehabilitated if given the opportunity, why not allow that to happen? If not, there are obvious repercussions. Having been a victim of a violent crime I do have a unique perspective and it seems obvious that this man's crimes are different. It doesn't make them right, but different. Add to that the fact that it is a whole lot easier to make restitution if you have a job and are not incarcerated.

Mark Brudz
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Justice does not mean equal punishment, it means fair and equable resolution within the confines of the law.

When a person is acquitted of a crime, justice is served because that person received a fair trial. Likewise justice is served when one is also convicted by the same reasoning.

Justice is also digression in that the Judge can way mitigating circumstances and atonement into all or part of a sentence. Prisons are not intended to rehabilitate, they are there to punish when all else fails. Justice dictates that fairness be applied equally to all, but that does not mean that everyone who falls stray of the law should immediately be punished, it means that the matter be dealt with appropriately.

This is obviously a turning point in Mr. Malone's Life, he can fall into the category of criminality or the category of repentance and restructuring his life. Judge Noonan's job is not to send everyone who falls stray to prison, but to weigh the evidence, circumstance to provide guidance for correction. Correction could be punishment, it could be community service, it could also be a firm and final warning under the supervision of Probation.

It is easy for any of us to second guess the judge, but the onus of judgment is upon him in this case. Taking advantage of the court's mercy as that is what this is, and turning one's life around is now n the hands of Mr. Mallone himself, and I truly wish him well in that endeavor. Many who have fallen astray in youth have rebounded to become contributing citizens later in life. In the judgment of Mr. Noonan, this is one case where that possibility does exist.

Good luck Mr. Malone, I hope that you use this second chance to turn your life around. I hope that some day that you realize just how fortunate that you are to have a second chance.

Scott Ogle
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Thanks, Wendy Smith, for addressing my question. You've made a strong, reasoned argument, and have convinced me.

Wendy Smith
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Doug~ I disagree with your statement that addictions are a choice and an excuse for bad behaviors. Some people may use it as an excuse, but more accurately, is is an explanation. It is no different that being addicted to cigarettes, food, gambling, sex or anything else. I happen to be a health professional and have worked in the human services field for 25 years and have family members that are recovering addicts. Some people are pre-disposed to addictions for physiological reasons. In order to truly understand addictions, one must be educated about the physiology behind it as well as the circumstances that drove that person to that particular addiction. It usually is a coping mechanism due to a traumatic experience. Yes, there is a level of choice, but there is also a part that they can't control or else they would just stop. Most addicts do not like what they are doing and they want to stop, but don't know how to stop and have to learn to handle stress and circumstances in a more healthy manner. As I mentioned, everyone's circumstance is different and we don't know what trauma they endured in their life that caused them to turn to unhealthy habits to begin with. I just don't think it is fair of us to make judgments based on very limited information that we read through media. That is why you don't see me making comments, because I don't know all the information. I do happen to know all the information in this case, so that is why I am remarking. I know that Mr. Malone has admitted to all his actions, even things that the public has not read about. He is sincerely repentful and wants to put everything behind and make a fresh, clean, honest start- and the only way to do that is to readily admit your faults to those you have wronged (which is one of the steps in AA). I never said that what he did was right,(and Mr. Malone knows that what he did was wrong) nor did I say that stealing from an establishment is "better" than stealing from a private home. However, according to the law there is a difference. The difference is that when one enters a private home, it is considered to be a violent offense regardless if someone was there or not, or if there was a confrontation.
Our society is so quick to "crucify" everyone that makes a poor choice. Yes, there are people who deserve to go to prison- those that are harming other people and children, those who are violent and killing people. Everyone has committed a "crime" of some sort in their life. Whether it be speeding, going through a red light or stop sign, being dishonest on their taxes, "stealing" time or materials from their employer, etc. What about the woman who just ripped off the village and people of Corfu for tens of thousands of dollars? She did so willingly and repeatedly over the course of years. I did not read where she had any type of addiction- other than her obvious addiction to money. She was given the same opportunity- is her case any different? Did she deserve her probation sentence, or should she have gone to jail/prison?
Go sit in Judge Noonan's courtroom and see how many people are given opportunities and how many people go to jail. Many cases are not reported through the media. It is open to the public to observe. It is a very enlightening and educating experience (NO,I am NOT a courtroom stalker, but I have held professional positions which involved being in the courtroom as well as serving an internship there).

Doug Yeomans
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Kyle, if addictions weren't a choice, people would never be able to "kick the habit", so to speak. People make the choice not to be an addict every day. People have self control if they want to. Wanting to is a choice. Not a single cigarette, packet of heroin or any other drug of "choice" can be sold to people that choose not to use. Being an addict is a choice, Being a burglar is a choice. Skin color, height, hair color, shoe size, those things are not choices.....well..unless someone uses Clairol..lol.

Doug Yeomans
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Wendy, so if I develop an addiction to pain killers (because I took them by choice), I can rob a store and if I get caught, all I have to do is say "the pain killers made me do it?" I'll disagree with every health care professional in the world on that one, and there are 4 of them in my family. If someone can plan out a robbery and try to hide it, they know what they're doing, they know it's wrong, and it's their choice.

I fully understand addiction. Been there, done that, I choose not to do it, and I quit on my own. Please don't tell me that my addiction wasn't that strong if I was able to break it. I hurt for over a month, absolute agony, mentally and physically, but it was my choice.

Out of all the things I've learned to control in my life, smoking was the most difficult habit to break. I chose not to let it control "me". People just have a difficult time facing the reality that they are ultimately in control. It's up to them, and there's no magic wand to fix it. Suck it up, buttercup.

Edit: I'm not persecuting anyone and I believe in second and sometimes third chances. I also believe in accountability. He's getting a very lucky break and I hope it works out for him. I just can't bring myself to excuse someone for criminal acts just because they had an addiction. That's not being cold, that's just being realistic.

Kyle Couchman
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Doug I cant speak to all addicts, however I will speak to 2 people I know intimately. One is my father, the other is a relative. You are very correct, it is a choice they make to kick the habit. But..... and this is the hard part to explain to someone who doesnt suffer from an addiction of anykind. But it's an urge that is always there, sometimes it's so strong that people give in and fall off the wagon, knowing what it all leads to. Under the influence bad choices abound.

Have you ever been so angry that you lashed out verbally or physically. At someone or something? Then later when you were calm you wanted to take it back, (or sat in the hospital and wished you didn't punch that wall) Thats the kind of loss of control they have under the influence.

I never have done drugs, I have tried them but never got hooked or needed them. I did drink like a proverbial sailor when in the navy or when I was at critical lows in life. But I could just say to myself.. I'm sick of waking up hung over and feeling shitty for a few days, and just stop. For years. People with this addiction sickness cant stop eve as they watch their lives/bodies/families fall apart because of it.

So people CAN kick the habit even if they still want that drink or needle or joint. Its a matter of having the ability to fight that everyday and depend on support and help of others they also depend on their higher power as well.

I dont know if this makes anything clearer or not, but you are right they are all choices, but the choice they make are to NOT do the substance. People are born with things like mathmatical talent, artistic talent or other such innate things is it hard to believe that alcoholism or substance addictions can't be ingrained like a disease too?

I hope this might cause a glimmer of understanding

Lorie Cook
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Well, I briefly met Mr. Malone and I too thought he was sincere, but unfortunately I have reason to believe that was not entirely his true personality. Unfortunately I have a family member who has been though this over and over and over…given chance after chance after chance because "this time" he was really remorseful. Bull…he was nothing more than a con artist. People suddenly become very sincere when they are facing a judge. Too bad it only last for about a day or two. Hopefully for Mr. Malone things will be different, and this will be the last time he finds himself in this unfortunate situation.

Wendy Smith
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Doug, I am not saying that anyone, including Mr. Malone is trying to escape responsibility by saying "the drugs made me do it". It isn't a question of using a substance as a scape goat to avoid consequences or accountability. And that is not the case with Mr. Malone. He is not, in any way, shape or form avoiding any consequences. He did some jail time, he lost everything (materially speaking), shamed and hurt his family, has suffered public humiliation, has done community service (and continues to do so), and is not entirely "free". He is in a half way house trying to put the pieces of his life back together again. It takes years to do so. And, he is still facing jail/prison time in a year whether he remains clean or not. He will be facing his victims and making an apology as well as restitution which he is in the process of doing. He has a LONG road ahead of him of legal consequences. I don't know why everyone thinks that he is just walking away without any consequences. Just because he didn't get locked up and have the key thrown away doesn't mean he isn't enduring consequences, nor is he running from his responsibilities.
I agree with you that there is a level of choice involved, but it is not 100% choice and everyone is different. Why can't we respect each individual for who they are. It is not a "one size fits all" society and just because one person can stop a habit does not mean that everyone else should be able to (or is capable to). Some people are pre-disposed to addictive behaviors while others are not. I am glad that you were able to have the victory over your addictions- as many other people have done. But, it isn't that easy for all people. I used to smoke years ago- I could smoke whenever I wanted to (stupid choice, but I admit I did it). I have asthma and was sick of waking up wheezing, so I decided to quit. It was a struggle for a month or so, but I did do it. I don't have an addictive personality, so it was "easy" in the eyes of someone who does have that predisposition. Aside from that, there are other traumatic events that contribute to a person's addiction and they immerse themselves in their addiction as a way to numb the pain (gambling, sex, porn, hording, shopping, drinking.......you name it).
All in all, I think our community has greater things to be concerned about like all the drug dealers that continue to invade Batavia and are causing more serious problems than Mr. Malone ever thought of.

Wendy Smith
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Scott~ I am glad that I was able to provide you with information that cleared up your question. At the end of the day, not everyone sees things the same way and we all are entitled to our opinions. I am not the type of person who forms an opinion about people without knowing all the facts, so that is why I never remark. It is upsetting to me that people are so focused on "hanging" someone like Mr. Malone (and other individuals who are currently featured in the media for similar crimes) when they don't know all the facts that the judge considered to arrive at his decision.
I believe there is more crime in our country because all too often people are not given the opportunity to be rehabilitated. There is a trickle down affect and we are seeing it everyday, two-fold. Statistics show that there is a high rate of people who serve a jail/prison sentence and then re-offend when they are released because they did not receive any type of treatment. They were just put on "pause", then continued their lifestyle upon release. What a waste of taxpayer dollars- to say the least, especially when they are re-arrested and go back through the legal system. Second,if the people who have children don't get help to become healthy adults and parents, then what happens to the kids? Statistically, they grow up to be just like their parent(s), especially young boys who grow up without a father. So, now we have the next generation of delinquents. Not to mention the exuberant cost of sending people to jails/prisons that are currently over crowded. It is much cheaper to rehabilitate people- and better for society in the long run (providing that they are not harming or killing people/children). The treatment court programs are a great example of such a philosophy and have high success rates. Genesee County is fortunate to have 4 such programs that assist individuals in getting the proper help they need. The programs have strict criteria and there are sanctions imposed to participants who are non-compliant. So, tell me, how would you like to see your hard earned money being spent? And, if you had a relative in the same situation, wouldn't you want them to receive the same opportunity?

Ed Hartgrove
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Kyle: You wrote, "I never have done drugs, I have tried them ..."

Are you the person that authored those famous words, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan ..."?

Because to say you never did drugs, and the next sentence to say you tried them, is not being consistent with the truth - If you tried them, then you did them. Can't have it both ways. Sorry!

But, don't worry. Wait a couple days and add a caveat. It won't make it any truer, but at least you can feel good about it. Ask Mr. O

Kyle Couchman
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So then I guess every person who tried smoking, and says that they dont smoke isnt being consistent with the truth. Same for people who say they have never lied.

My definition of doing something is to at least infrequently practice the activity. I dont do that. I drink a beer or a shot of something once in a while but I am not a drinker.

Seems like picking a statement apart but again just like other do Ed you only pick the part that makes your comment seem more valid.

If you quote me please quote the entire sentence.... "I never have done drugs, I have tried them but never got hooked or needed them." It was one sentence not two. No caveat needed Ed trying a cigarette is not smoking, trying a wine isnt really drinking. Being wheelchair bound for a few days does not make you a cripple, and so on LOL.

Ed Hartgrove
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"No caveat needed Ed ...".
Hmm-m-m-m!

"My definition of doing something is to at least infrequently practice the activity."
How's that go now? If it looks like a caveat, and it smells like a caveat, then ...".

"Same for people who say they have never lied."
Sorry (again), Kyle, but if someone told a lie, and then said that they had never lied, they would be lying.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Ms. Lewinsky"
Maybe he should've added 'frequently'.

I guess it all boils down to what one's definition of what is is. Or, in this case, what "done" is. Or, better yet, enter 'frequency'.

david spaulding
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ok wendy, tell me how you are related to this convicted thief, mr. malon

Wendy Smith
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I have worked in the human services field with many clients like Mr. Malone for 25 years and know who the sincere people are that are trying to turn their lives around. I also know the ones that don't learn their lesson or seize an opportunity when it is given to them. I have a heart for people and believe in giving people a chance (again, providing that they are not violent and they are not a significant danger to society) As I stated, there is a huge cost to society both financially and psychologically when we take people with potential and lock them up. Just doing what people in the human services field do- advocate for people.

Lorie Cook
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Wendy, did mr. malone come forward and confess to the crimes or did he add to the bad behavior by hiding and costing taxpayers more money in police and court time? If truly remorseful, why not make a full confession to police? You can never escape your demons until you free yourself from all the lies and deception.

I wish Mr. Malone well and hopefully he takes this opportunity and rebuilds his life. I hope he completes treatment too and hope that was a condition in the judges decision.

Wendy Smith
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Lorie- To answer your question, yes Mr. Malone did make a full confession to the police at the time of his arrest. I agree, that in order to truly move forward with a clean slate, one must lay all their cards on the table, as Mr. Malone did. His addiction did control him, however, he realized it was time to take control back. Treatment takes years, but the first year is the most critical. He is supervised through the drug treatment court and has 7 months clean without any relapses. The judge wanted to give him the opportunity to complete the treatment program that he is involved with(which is a year program). I think that is a fair decision for Mr. Malone and anyone like him who exhibits remorse, sincerity and committment to a positive life change. His remorse is not that he got caught, but shame for the things he did. He is actually grateful that this likely saved his life and gave him an opportunity that he might not otherwise have had. It is a complete life change of people, place, things and career.

david spaulding
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wendy, it's kind of weird to me how your friend realized he needed to take control of his life, AFTER he was arrested.......he needs prison, you want to give him a chance with all that professional knowledge of yours? let him stay with you and keep him away from my house.

Lorie Cook
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I know…right David. Just to make a point….

I bought the house I live in from a young couple who was going through a break-up. The boyfriend apparently had a drug addiction problem and was fired from his job and he was stealing the drugs from his employer. He was supposedly moving to Florida to live with his family. The young lady moved to Auburn area with her family. The boyfriend returned a few years later…murdered his girlfriend and buried her body near her house. Their baby was left alone inside her apartment. NICE!

And by all accounts of those who knew him…."he was a nice guy." Right.

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