Henderson burglar sentenced to 45 years

HENDERSON (KYTX) - Richard Riley Starr, 27, of Henderson, was sentenced Thursday by Fourth District Judge Clay Gossett to 45 years in prison, after Starr pled guilty to a May 19 burglary of a habitation.

Burglary of a habitation is normally a second-degree felony with a range of punishment of two to 20 years in prison, but because Staff had been to prison before on a previous burglary conviction, Gossett enhanced his punishment to up to life in prison. Starr also has previous felony convictions for drugs, burglary of a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm and credit card abuse.

The victim, a 90-year-old homeowner, was in court during sentencing Thursday. Rusk County First Assistant County and District Attorney Richard Kennedy praised the Henderson Police Department's patrol division and Sgt. James Dukes, who were able to catch Staff using the victim's credit cards around Henderson on the same day he broke into the elderly woman's home.

Starr will be eligible for release from prison on parole after serving 15 percent, or less than eight years, of his sentence. Kennedy said that his office has no control over parole but that, "We routinely protest parole when an offender is scheduled for release before satisfying the sentence the judge or jury assessed him."


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