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Teenager gets 7 years in prison for stealing, crashing Lt. Gov. Kinder's vehicle

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jacob Shepard
The Cape Girardeau man who pleaded guilty to stealing Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's car was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

Jacob Shepard, 18, received a seven-year sentence for stealing a motor vehicle and a concurrent four-year sentence for property damage after stealing Kinder's 2009 Ford Flex and crashing it into a gun store April 25.

Shepard was originally charged with torching the car, but the charge was dropped because of insufficient evidence, Shepard's attorney Scott Reynolds said.

Shepard and Adam D. Cromer, 21, allegedly stole Kinder's 2009 Ford Flex on April 25 and rammed it into a brick wall at Shooters Gun Shop before torching it north of Cape Girardeau city limits on Highway 177. The car was a total loss, Kinder said in April.

Shepard had testified in August that he was under the influence of ecstasy and alcohol when he stole and rammed Kinder's car into the wall. Shepard said he does not remember driving into the wall.

In addition to Monday's sentences, Shepard is on probation for burglary and drug charges in Scott County.

Reynolds had asked Cape Girardeau Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Lewis for a four-year sentence, calling a seven-year sentence "overkill," but Lewis rejected the request, despite acknowledging Shepard's results from the sentencing assessment test.

"The courts don't want to see you throwing your life away," Lewis told Shepard. "But at some point we're not going to be concerned about you; we'll be concerned for public safety."

Before he was sentenced, Shepard apologized to the community and Kinder, who was not in attendance.

Cromer was charged with stealing a motor vehicle, first-degree tampering and second-degree attempted burglary. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is set to be in court again Oct. 11.



Pertinent address:

101 Court Street Jackson, Mo.

335 Christine St., Cape Girardeau, MO

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Clearly this judge is a buddy of Kinders. Anybody elses car and the sentence would be more like 12-24 months.

In recent months we had sentences for gunning down people and molesting dozens of woman with the perps only getting 5 years and clearly one can embezzle $100,000+ from an employer and only do 12 months. This kid definitely deserves to be punished, but 7 years is a ridiculous waste of resources that could be put to far better use locking up more dangerous criminals.

-- Posted by Nil on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 5:23 PM

WOooooo HOooooooo, Fresh meat in the cell block.

Your cellies are gonna have a field day with you,boy.

A word of advise from an old cop. Don't pick up the soap and sleep with your back to the wall.

-- Posted by johnlaw484c on Mon, Sep 26, 2011, at 6:04 PM

A 25yo with a 7 year stretch behind him? Yeah, he'll blend right in like nothing ever happened.

Yes this kid needs punished. But he doesn't need his future killed in doing so.

-- Posted by malan on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 8:54 AM

He's just a kid. He needs drug rehab and probation, not prison.

-- Posted by CapeGirardian on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 11:43 AM

I first thought this young man got a pretty harsh sentence. But, if he's anything like his commenting "family", I'm not sure he did. It may already be to late for rehab.

-- Posted by malan on Tue, Sep 27, 2011, at 2:36 PM

Didn't Joe Buerkle get 7 years for stealing $325,000 from a client? Does anyone remember? This sentencing really does not pass the smell test. I agree he needs to be punished but not to this degree.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 9:04 AM

The problem is he was already on probation. Putting him on probation for this would have likely resulted in another crime, another arrest, and another innocent person harmed. Please remember that the FIRST duty of our criminal justice system is to protect the public.

Seven years is a long time, perhaps too long, but softer sentencing isn't likely enough to prompt him to turn his life around.

-- Posted by Mark Rutledge on Wed, Sep 28, 2011, at 12:16 PM

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