Shawn Boyd appeared in Caledonia Superior Court Friday carrying a lengthy criminal record with him that dates back to the 1980’s.
State officials say his record includes including eight prior felony and four prior burglary convictions.
Boyd, 49, is also well known for his manslaughter conviction in 1998 for beating a two year-old child to death in Lyndonville.
He was in court on Friday to be sentenced as a habitual offender for burglary and Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren was asking Judge Robert Bent to impose a sentence of five years to life.
But according to court documents, Judge Bent had his own view of the situation and handed down a lesser sentence to Boyd of 14 months to five years.
Warren left the courtroom in disbelief.
“While I respect the court’s authority and discretion, I am disappointed in the sentence as I believe it sends the wrong message to Mr. Boyd and to the community at large,” said Warren. “In the State’s view, when you have multiple convictions for the same offense - particularly over a lengthy period of time - the sentence typically gets longer, not shorter.”
In addition to his prior burglary and breaking and entering convictions, Boyd’s criminal record reveals multiple burglary charges that were amended down to unlawful trespasses during plea bargaining.
At the time of the H.O.P.E store burglary Boyd was already on supervision by the Department of Corrections for a prior burglary conviction, according to court documents.
Boyd was convicted and sentenced Friday in connection with the theft of frozen meats from the H.O.P.E. store on Church Street in Lyndonville along with two Zmodo cameras, spare change left in a charity collection container and cash register during the early morning hours of Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Police say Boyd pried open the door to H.O.P.E. to gain access to the non-profit store which assists those in need in the community.
Shawn A. Boyd is an alias for Shawn A. Ely, who was sent to prison in 1998 after pleading no contest to manslaughter and aggravated assault for the beating death of 2-year-old Edward L. “Eddie” Billings in Lyndonville. He had been released from prison and was on furlough status in 2012 when he broke into the Mooselook Restaurant in Concord on Christmas Eve to steal what turned out to be $7 from the restaurant cash register.
In February of 2015 Boyd settled the Mooselook burglary charges by pleading guilty to felony burglary and a misdemeanor count of unlawful mischief. He was sentenced by Judge Robert Bent to 5-16 years, all suspended except for 18 months.
Boyd was already serving time for burglary when he was convicted in Billings’ death. The combined sentences could have kept the 28-year-old behind bars until 2023. But he was released by the Department of Corrections from state prison just five years later, in 2003 and placed on furlough status to continue serving his sentence in the community.