A Jacksonville man facing decades in prison for stealing and then pawning jewelry he removed from dead bodies was sentenced to 90 days in county jail. Christopher Allen was forensic investigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office and faced five felony charges after an investigation pinned him as the person responsible for missing jewelry, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The most serious was one of two dealing in stolen property charges, which was charged as a first-degree felony, and can be when a person is the one organizing and plans the thefts and the sale of the property. In Allen’s Jacksonville Theft Case, he was accused of acting alone so that charge would fit. As a first-degree felony, Allen faced up to 30 years in state prison on that charge alone and a total of 60 years with all five counts.
It’s unclear from the newspaper report just how much jewelry Allen was accused of taking from the bodies in this Jacksonville Theft Case, but records showed he pawned 62 pieces of jewelry in a year’s time, the newspaper reported. In all, he was charged with official misconduct, two counts of dealing in stolen property (one being the more serious organized stolen property) and two counts of giving false verification of ownership of pawned items. Allen and prosecutors negotiated an agreement where he would plead guilty to official misconduct and organized dealing in stolen property, allowing the remaining charges in his Jacksonville Theft Case to be dropped. Allen received 90 days in jail, but will be out this month because he was already in jail for 74 days since his arrest, unable to post bond.
The newspaper report depicts Allen as a hardworking law enforcement officer who fell on tough financial times and made some poor decisions to try to get out. His past undoubtedly played a role in a comparatively light sentence in this Jacksonville Theft Case. This appears to be the first time Allen, 48, has ever been arrested. He will have to forfeit his law enforcement powers, pay more than $1,000 in restitution, another $600 in court costs and serve three years of probation. But when you’re looking at up to 60 years in prison for a Jacksonville Theft Case, especially one that tends to anger people as much as stealing from dead bodies at a morgue, that’s a very favorable disposition. When it comes to sentencing or negotiation in Jacksonville Criminal Defense Cases, a defendant’s criminal history is a huge factor. Sentencing guidelines are based on the current charges and a person’s record – if he or she has one. You generally only get one crack at a deal like the one in this Jacksonville Theft Case, but it’s an opportunity for people to turn things around and become productive members of society, instead of sitting in prison.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.