Originally created 05/26/06

Deal is offered in theft



A man who drove off in a stolen car with a toddler strapped in the back seat pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges.

Curtis Green, 22, was offered the lenient plea negotiation because the age of the case prevents additional necessary investigation, Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms said.

Mr. Green pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to theft and false imprisonment with the agreement the punishment for the two crimes would be concurrent and he would get credit for the time he has spent in South Carolina jails and prisons since his arrest in October 2003.

Before he drove off in a stolen green Cadillac parked at a Wrightsboro Road gas station that month, Mr. Green was wanted on burglary and larceny charges in Aiken. He already was on probation for breaking into a home and stealing property.

When he got into the Cadillac he didn't know there were children in the back seat, his attorney, Harry James, told the judge Thursday.

Mr. Green let an 8-year-old out of the car in the parking lot. Less than a hour later, his then 3-year-old sister appeared on LaRon Goss' doorstep in Beech Island, according to a report in The Augusta Chronicle. Mr. Green had dropped the toddler off at Kelly's Hilltop Stop and Shop and she walked to Mr. Goss' nearby home.

Neither child was harmed in the incident, Mr. James stressed to the judge.

Judge Duncan D. Wheale accepted the plea negotiation. He sentenced Mr. Green to the maximum possible, 10 years in prison.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.