Waco man gets 50-year sentence for rib theft - New York News

Waco man gets 50-year sentence for rib theft

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WACO, Texas (AP) -

A jury has sentenced a Waco man convicted of stealing a rack of ribs to 50 years in prison.

Forty-three-year-old Willie Smith Ward was convicted and sentenced on robbery charges Wednesday. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports that Ward's theft of the $35 rack of pork ribs turned into a robbery after he threatened a grocery store employee who tried to stop him in 2011.

The employee testified that Ward told him he had a knife.

The jury recommended Ward be sentenced as a habitual criminal. Ward has previous felony convictions for burglary, attempted robbery, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident and possession of cocaine, and four misdemeanor convictions, including two thefts.

He must serve at least a quarter of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

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