Man, 19, asks court for leniency in sentencing Judge suspended 13 years of his prison term in 1996

October 02, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A 19-year-old Westminster man, facing sentencing on assault and theft charges and probation violation, sobbed in Circuit Court yesterday, begging for another chance from the judge who gave him a break two years ago.

Addressing Judge Raymond E. Beck, a tearful Christopher C. Feenstra begged to be allowed to support his fiance and their daughter. He said his father had never been around for him, and he wanted to be there for his family.

Feenstra, who pleaded not guilty yesterday but agreed not to contest the state's version of what happened, told the judge he had previously asked for help in court but never received it.

"I don't like groveling; it makes me feel uncomfortable," Beck said, reminding Feenstra that the man he assaulted in January 1996 -- John Curran, then 33, of Union Bridge -- was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center with two stab wounds near his '' heart.

In July 1996, Beck sentenced Feenstra to 15 years in prison for that stabbing, but suspended 13 years and placed him on five years of intensive probation.

Feenstra then asked to be placed on work release.

"You got that, and then, in April 1997, you asked for a sentence modification. I granted that," Beck said, referring to the balance of the two years he suspended. "One of the reasons I did was to help you get a handle on life. You weren't dealt a very good hand in life.

"You can't come in here today and say the court and judicial system hasn't helped you," Beck said.

Feenstra stipulated to the probation violation and was found guilty of theft over $300, theft under $300 and two counts of assault.

In addition to the 13-year sentence resulting from the probation violation, Feenstra received concurrent sentences of five years on one assault count and two concurrent 18-month terms for the thefts and the other assault.

All other charges against Feenstra were dropped. Beck declined to place him on probation after he is released.

"You have shown that [ordering additional probation] wouldn't do any good," Beck told the defendant.

Before the sentence was imposed, Feenstra sat quietly as prosecutor David P. Daggett recounted the details of the offenses.

In June 1997, he helped another man punch a Westminster resident to steal $3 after the victim refused to give them $20.

In November 1997, he kicked a man on a Westminster parking lot, breaking the victim's glasses.

In December 1997, he helped another man break into a Westminster home and steal a pistol and several rifles.

Pub Date: 10/02/98

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