Peyton Found Guilty of Theft and Receiving Stolen Property

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Lee Peyton who I wrote about on this blog was found guilty of using a stolen debit card to steal $300 at an ATM in Ventura and stealing a CD case on Tuesday.

"He was surprised by how fast they came back," said Attorney Victor Salas, who served as Peyton's court-appointed co-counsel.

It took jurors less than an hour to find Peyton, 34, guilty of two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of identity theft.

Salas said Peyton has filed four legal motions immediately after the jury trial and three had been decided by Judge David Hirsch.

Salas said a total of 10 legal motions were filed by Peyton after the jury's decision.

Judge Hirsch had offered Peyton seven years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea; and the District Attorney's Office offered Peyton seven years and four months.

Salas said he was at nine years, and he has been able to whittle that down to seven years.

Peyton, who has Tourettes syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntarily movements and vocalizations called tics, said he was willing to plead guilty for a six year sentence. Peyton wanted to be given credit for time serve along with credits earned for good behavior which now total more than five years.

"This thing should have been resolved in 2009," said Salas.

Initially, the District Attorney's Office wanted to put Peyton who has two robbery convictions  behind bars for the rest of his life under the three-strikes law, said Salas.

But Proposition 36 changed the Three Strikes Law and was approved by voters in November. Only felonies that are considered serious or violent offenses can be considered a third strike. So Peyton's charges don't meet this new criteria approved by voters.

Prosecutors admitted as evidence two convictions against Peyton for possession of stolen property 1999 and 2003, including the theft of what they allege is another CD case.

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The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at rhernandez@vcstar.com.