Saturday, December 9, 2023

Man to Serve Eight Years for Role in Car Break-Ins

Aaron Scott Lee (Courtesy James City County Police Department)
Aaron Scott Lee (Courtesy James City County Police Department)

A man involved in a series of car break-ins in James City County during the summer of 2014 was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday.

Aaron Scott Lee, 21, was one of five men arrested and charged with crimes relating to the theft of jewelry, firearms, cash and a camera from parked cars in James City County neighborhoods between July 30 and Sept. 11, 2014.

Upon his arrest last fall, Lee was charged with one count of felony grand larceny of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Lee had three additional larceny of a firearm and three additional possession of a firearm charges brought against him in March, bringing the total number of charges he faced to eight.

When Lee reappeared before the court in June he entered into a plea deal with the prosecution that required him to plead guilty to two counts of larceny of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm in exchange for all other charges to be dropped. He was also required to pay $2,318.42 in restitution to the victims.

At Wednesday’s sentencing hearing Commonwealth’s Attorney Cathy Black argued Lee’s sentence should meet the high end of the guidelines for his crimes, amounting to nine years to be served.

“His life has been constantly intertwined with guns and gun violence,” said Black, citing his juvenile criminal record and similar crimes in New Kent for which he was recently sentenced to two-and-a-half years.

Judge Michael McGinty sentenced Lee to five years in prison with no time suspended for the possession charge and a total of 30 years for the two larceny charges with 27 years suspended.

This leaves Lee with eight years to serve, just below the nine years recommended by the state.

McGinty also denied Lee’s attorney’s request to allow him to serve his sentence concurrent with the sentence handed down in New Kent.

Upon his release, Lee will remain on probation for 20 years.

Lee was the second-to-last of the co-defendants in this case to be sentenced.

Austin Peterson pleaded guilty to one count of grand larceny and was sentenced to five years in prison, all of which was suspended. Terrence Terrell White was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but four months suspended.

The remaining suspect, David Hartman, entered a plea of no contest to one count of grand larceny, which will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he remains in good behavior through June of 2016.

Christian Bearisto, who pleaded guilty to pawning the stolen items, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but one year suspended.

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