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Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Separate terms for theft and burglary

At the conclusion of a bench trial in the Circuit Court for Worcester County, the court convicted John Temple Haines, appellant, of second-degree burglary, theft of items valued under $1,000, malicious destruction of property, and related conspiracy counts. The court sentenced appellant to a term of twelve years’ incarceration for second-degree burglary, with all but seven years suspended. The court also sentenced appellant to a concurrent term of twelve years, with all but seven years suspended, for conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary. With respect to the portion of the sentence that appellant contends in this appeal was illegal, the court also imposed a consecutive term of 18 months’ incarceration, all suspended, for the theft count. All remaining convictions were merged for sentencing purposes.

In this direct appeal, appellant presents a single question for our review:

“Did the lower court err in imposing separate consecutive terms of incarceration for theft and burglary where the only stolen items were those acquired in the burglary?”

Read the opinion here: