Tallahassee, Florida - April 19, 2011
This afternoon (April 18), Leon County Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson sentenced 31-year-old Joseph W. Atkins of Tallahassee to serve a total of 30 years in prison for Burglary of a Dwelling and Grand Theft.
Mr. Atkins had been charged with the burglary and theft back on June 2, 2009, after a home break-in was reported in Northwest Leon County. The burglary happened in broad daylight, while the victim was taking classes at school and while many people in the neighborhood were away at work.
After a jury trial on March 16, 2011, the jury found Mr. Atkins guilty as charged of Burglary of a Dwelling and Grand Theft. The passenger of the car testified that Mr. Atkins had her go to the door to the residence and knock to see if someone was home. After no one answered the knocking, Mr. Atkins then kicked open the front door, rummaged through the house and stole what he believed to be many items of value. The items he stole turned out to be costume jewelry. Mr. Atkins was found in possession of some of the stolen items shortly after the Burglary by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.
Based upon the jury’s verdict and Mr. Atkins’ extensive criminal history, he qualified as an Habitual Felony Offender. He also qualified as a Prison Releasee Reoffender since he was released from prison within 3 years of committing these new crimes. These qualifications resulted in the 30 year prison sentence for Mr. Atkins.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Mike Bauer. Mr. Atkins was represented by Tallahassee attorney Alex Morris.