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February 10, 2010

"Cheese in pants may draw life term for Yolo man"

The title of this post is the headline of this article from today's Sacramento Bee.  Here are the particulars:

A Yolo County man who put cheese down his trousers faces a life sentence when he goes before a judge next month.

Jurors convicted Robert Preston Ferguson of two counts of petty theft on Jan. 6.  One conviction was for swiping a woman's wallet from a convenience store counter.  The other was for stealing $3.99 worth of shredded cheese from the Nugget Market in Woodland.  Officers testified that Ferguson put the cheese in his pants and was apprehended in the parking lot.

Because of a lengthy criminal history that dates back 35 years, including six first-degree burglary convictions, Yolo prosecutors charged the petty theft counts as felonies. They say 22 years in prison failed to teach Ferguson, who is in his 50s, to obey the law.

Now they're asking a judge to give Ferguson a life sentence under the state's "three-strikes" law when he comes back to court March 1.  "Holding the defendant fully accountable will protect society from a repeat criminal offender," prosecutor Clinton Parish's motion says.

Defense lawyers have asked the judge to exclude Ferguson's prior offenses in sentencing, saying that the man is mentally ill and has substance abuse problems.  "At bottom, the prosecution's position is simply that because Mr. Ferguson has a criminal record he should be incarcerated for the term of his natural life for allegedly taking $3.99 worth of Tillamook cheese and allegedly taking a wallet the value of which has not been ascertained," public defender Monica Brushia's brief says.

As with most sentencing stories that make news, this case is sad and serious.  And yet, my impulse to leaven a snow day with some jocularity entails that I make light of this situation (and encourage readers to play along in the comments). 

For example, I cannot help but think of a Mae-West-type spin on what a female cop might have said when apprehending Ferguson: "Is that a three-strike sentence in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"  Also, I wonder if Larry Pratt might get inspired to consider a "Cheese in the Pants" sequal to his viral hit "Pants on the Ground".  Here's a possible lyric: "Looking like a fool ... and at a life sentence ... with the cheese in your pants!"

February 10, 2010 at 02:39 PM | Permalink

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Comments

it's this kind of criminal stupidity on the part of the DA that has the prison system falling apart from overcrowing and overbudge. They were minor crimes he TURNED INTO FELONIES...by what possible legal reasoning is this allowed. If the idiot was gonna hammer him i'd thing during one of the SIX! repeat felonies would have been a more appropriate time. But for stealing FOOD!

sorry NO

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Feb 10, 2010 4:00:07 PM

To me the real sad part is that we have failed all around as a society. He'll now spend the rest of his life in prison with "three hots and a cot". How is that an improvement for society. I agree that this guy has problems but putting him in prison isn't the way to fix them. Seriously, having him live on welfare and buying him a plasma so he won't be bored would be cheaper for the community in the long run.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 10, 2010 5:05:03 PM

He's going to be imprisoned for life not just for stealing food, but stealing someone's wallet as well - after he's been warned not to repeat any more crimes or face the consequences. This guy is a poster child for repeat offenders we need off the streets, preferably with a good old fashioned hanging.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 11, 2010 3:32:50 PM

"Here's a possible lyric: 'Looking like a fool ... and at a life sentence ... with the cheese in your pants!' "

Doug, don't give up the day job.

The Yolo DA has decided not to seek the three strikes sentence after getting a psych eval on this guy.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Feb 11, 2010 5:38:20 PM

"This guy is a poster child for repeat offenders we need off the streets, preferably with a good old fashioned hanging"

Astonishing. Would you still suggest taking a the life of a man (with mental problems) if he'd not stolen a wallet, but also a much bigger piece of cheese?

Where do you stand on Parmesan?

Posted by: neil | Feb 19, 2010 12:02:05 PM

Where can I buy wallets to hold 6"x4"x photographs like what you would
get from a photo lab when they develop your photos. I want to buy them
online ideally. I live and need to find a source in the UK.

Posted by: generic viagra | Apr 21, 2010 3:53:53 PM

LOL! Is this correct???
Cheese in the pants.. good as movie title :)

Posted by: MJ at Designer Jeans | Apr 22, 2010 12:31:26 AM

what is it exactly...?


...Alex

Posted by: safe generic viagra | May 17, 2010 7:08:19 AM

For those of us on the well-educated (and civilised, it would seem) side of the Atlantic, could you please confirm that when you say 'pants' you are actually referring to trousers?

It is amusing to read of the medieval practices and views that permeate your society. Do you still duck witches? Do you have workhouses? (Read some Dickens if you don't know what they are).

Thank you.

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