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Moira man sentenced to prison after string of larcenies

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

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

He and Susan M. Westurn, 53, both were charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny and misdemeanor petit larceny in August 2012. They were accused of stealing several items, including clothing from J.C. Penney Co. at St. Lawrence Centre, Massena, and computers from the Massena Walmart. Fourth-degree grand larceny is charged when the stolen items’ total worth exceeds $1,000.

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

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

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

Additionally, Mr. Westurn appeared in court more than 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 Mr. 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 Mr. Westurn.

Both Mr. Button and the prosecution requested Judge Richards 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 Mr. 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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