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May 14, 2011

"The Bird man of prison" now regrets playing at sentencing

The Boston Globe has this story on the regrets of a Larry Bird fan who asked for extra time in prison to honor his favorite basketball player.  Here is how it starts and ends:

Just about everyone thinks Eric Torpy is a birdbrain.  In October 2005, Torpy asked an Oklahoma County judge to tack on three more years to his 30-year prison sentence for armed robbery and two counts of shooting with intent to kill.

"He said if he was going down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird’s jersey," Oklahoma District Judge Ray Elliott told the Associated Press back then.  "He was just as happy as he could be."  But after sharing a 10-foot-by-15-foot cell at the Davis Correctional Facility for the last six years, Torpy regrets asking for the extra time.

"Now that I have to do that time, yes I do," says Torpy.  "I kind of wished that I had 30 instead of 33. Recently I’ve wisened up.  "That three is a big deal, you know?  Three years matters." Torpy will turn 33 this year and is not eligible for parole until 2033....

Torpy said the district attorney and judge should never have lengthened his plea bargain agreement. "In my mind, they became unprofessional," he says.  "Why feed into my game? I’m a criminal."

But at least he’s a famous criminal, he says. In his cell is a scrapbook that contains a photo of Bird and news clippings about himself, including one from Playboy magazine (prison authorities didn’t let him keep the photos).  He says he was on ESPN, and that Jay Leno made fun of him. "I know that I went down in glory and fame, but truthfully, I didn’t know that all of that was going to happen," Torpy says.  "It wasn’t intended. It just all came about."

May 14, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

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Comments

You know, I suspect a lot of criminality could be explained with "but truthfully, I didn’t know that all of that was going to happen," I suspect a lot of time there just isn't all that much thought going through an offender's head.

And he ought to look on the bright side, at least he's not a Wayne Gretzky fan.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 14, 2011 1:13:11 PM

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