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A Lanexa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for his participation in a group responsible for breaking into more than 100 vehicles around James City County last year.
Terrence Terrell White will serve four months of the sentence, as the remaining nine years and eight months were suspended.
He must also pay $2,318.42 in restitution. He accepted a plea deal in June calling for him to plead guilty to a larceny of a firearm charge.
“All you have to do is turn on the TV to see stolen firearms are a real problem,” said Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Judge Michael McGinty.
White participated in the rash of car break-ins along with David Hartman, Aaron Scott Lee and Austin Peterson. A fifth man, Christian Bearisto, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month for pawning items stolen by the quartet.
White’s attorney, Brandon Waltrip, asked McGinty not to give his client any active time. He cited a recent conviction in New Kent County for similar offenses that netted White a 40-year prison sentence with 39 years suspended.
Williamsburg-James City County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cathy Black said “senseless” is the best way to characterize White’s actions. She asked rhetorically whether he broke into the cars instead of seeking gainful employment or if he did it “just for fun?”
Waltrip said White was employed during the break-ins and that he has a lack of criminal history.
“He’s made some choices that are going to affect him for a very long time,” Waltrip said.
Prior to receiving his sentence, White apologized to McGinty, the state and the community.
“My actions were wrong,” he said, noting he has “come to his senses” and is no longer using drugs.
The break-ins, which took place between July 30 and Sept. 11, affected neighborhoods including Kingsmill, Stonehouse, Scott’s Pond, Great Woods, St. George’s Hundred, Greensprings West, Windsor Forest, Williamsburg West, Settler’s Mill, Graylin Woods, Fenwick Hills and Wellington.
Investigators caught a break in the case after a St. George’s Hundred resident saw two people stealing items from vehicles on Wellington Circle on Sept. 11. He chased the pair and got a partial license plate number from a nearby vehicle.
Later that day, police found the vehicle and questioned its two occupants. Peterson, Bearisto, Lee and Hartman were soon charged. White was arrested a short time later.