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Moira man sentenced to prison after string of larcenies

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CANTON — A Franklin County man who was previously released under St. Lawrence County Probation Department supervision was sentenced tostate prison after being arrested again on larceny charges and testing positive for drugs in St. Lawrence County Court Monday morning.

Samuel F. Westurn, 35, of 183 County Route 32, Moira, was sentenced to the state prison term after a May 22 guilty plea to fourth-degree grand larceny.

He and his mother, Susan M. Westurn, 53, both were charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny and misdemeanor petit larceny in August of last year. They were accused of stealing several items, including clothing from J.C. Penney Co. at the St. Lawrence Centre mall and computers from Walmart. Fourth-degree grand larceny is charged when the stolen items’ total worth exceeds $1,000.

Westurn was released to the county Probation Department in that case.

On Aug. 4, Massena Village Police charged Westurn with petit larceny for allegedly shoplifting again from Walmart.

Police said Westurn walked past the last point of sale without paying for a computer, valued at $598.

Additionally, Westurn appeared in court over an hour after Judge Richards called for him. When he did arrive, Judge Richards ordered the Probation Department to test him for drugs.

Results revealed that Westurn had cocaine in his system.

“My position is that I am no longer held to my original commitment,” Judge Richards told St. Lawrence County Public Defender Stephen D. Button, who represented Westurn.

Both Mr. Button and the prosecution requested Judge Richards to consider sentencing Mr. Westurn to a reduced six months in county jail and five years of probation.

“Mr. Westurn is at the edge of the cliff and, with the help of the court, he could back out,” Mr. Button said.

Judge Richards disagreed.

“Let me give you the Navy rule,” Judge Richards said to Westurn before sentencing. “When you are walking on the deck and you see a quarter and it isn’t yours, you need to walk by the quarter. You don’t touch it. Follow that advice and you will never be back here for a larceny charge again.”

In addition to an indeterminate sentence of a minimum of 15 months or a maximum of 45 months in state prison, Mr. Westurn also was ordered to pay $375 in court fines, fees and surcharges.

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