Two rules to live by: Don’t mess with Georgia and don’t steal from Hank Aaron.
A Georgia man will be on probation for the next half-century after pleading guilty to breaking into the Hall of Famer’s house and taking several of the former pro’s prized baseball possessions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Steve Visser (h/t Scooby Axson of Sports Illustrated) reports that Fulton County superior court judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua sentenced 24-year-old Isiah Slaton to eight years in prison and 42 years of probation after he and two alleged accomplices broke into Aaron’s home on July 14, 2013, and ransacked the premises for valuables.
Visser reports that Aaron and his wife were in New York for the MLB All-Star Game when the burglary occurred. The thieves stole the former All-Star’s baseball rings (presumably including his 1957 World Series championship ring), which Visser reports were destined to end up on display in the Hall of Fame.
Other items listed among those stolen were Aaron’s two BMWs, which the burglars ditched after failing to disarm their "LoJack" satellite positioning systems.
Authorities managed to lift fingerprints off at least one of the vehicles, according to Visser, which led to the arrests of Slaton and two other men.
Ostensibly hoping for lenience, Slaton pleaded guilty and found no quarter with the judge. This is what happens when you mess with Georgia’s legends—it bites you square in the perineum.
It’s unclear if Slaton committed prior offenses warranting such a heavy-handed punishment, but I prefer a reality where sentencing Judge LaGrua is the biggest Hank Aaron fan in the county—that she spent her childhood attending Braves games with her dad and catching the right fielder’s home run balls—and this is the justice meted out by a righteous defender of baseball’s old guard.
Would that be an outrageous abuse of power? Yes, but this is my reality, where baseball bandits sweat through their sheets every night fearing the crack of the gavel.
Also, remember this is 80-year-old Hank Aaron who these burglars purposely targeted. The poor man stated in his witness impact statement that he felt “violated” after his “priceless” possessions were stolen.
Georgia doesn’t take kindly to people violating its living monuments.
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