The growing older reformed mobster who has admitted stealing a pair of ruby slippers that Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” gave into the temptation of “one final rating” after an previous mob affiliate led him to imagine the well-known sneakers should be adorned with actual jewels to justify their $1 million insured worth.

Terry Jon Martin’s protection lawyer lastly revealed the 76-year-old’s motive for the 2005 theft from the Judy Garland Museum within the late actor’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in a brand new memo filed forward of his Jan. 29 sentencing in Duluth, Minnesota.

The FBI recovered the sneakers in 2018 when another person tried to say an insurance coverage reward on them, however Martin wasn’t charged with stealing them till final yr.

Martin pleaded responsible in October to utilizing a hammer to smash the glass of the museum door and show case to take the slippers. He had hoped to reap actual rubies from the sneakers and promote them. However a fence, an individual who offers in stolen items, knowledgeable him the rubies had been glass and Martin removed the slippers lower than two days after he took them, he stated.

Protection lawyer Dane DeKrey stated in his memo that an unidentified former mob affiliate tempted Martin to steal the sneakers, although he hadn’t dedicated against the law in almost 10 years after his final jail stint.

“At first, Terry declined the invitation to take part within the heist. However previous habits die onerous, and the considered a ‘last rating’ stored him up at night time,” DeKrey wrote. “After a lot contemplation, Terry had a prison relapse and determined to take part within the theft.”

DeKrey and prosecutors are recommending the decide sentence Martin to time served as a result of he’s bodily incapable of presenting a risk to society. Martin is in hospice care with a life expectancy of lower than six months. He wants oxygen always due to his power obstructive pulmonary dysfunction and was in a wheelchair at his most up-to-date courtroom look. Even when he had been sentenced to jail, his poor well being is perhaps grounds for a compassionate launch.

Martin had no thought concerning the cultural significance of the ruby slippers and had by no means seen the film. As a substitute, DeKrey stated he was simply in search of one final huge rating, and the “previous Terry” with a lifelong historical past of crimes like housebreaking and receiving stolen property beat out the “new Terry” who appeared to “lastly put his demons to relaxation” after being launched from jail in 1996 and have become “a contributing member of society.”

DeKrey urged the decide to contemplate the key occasions of Martin’s life when deciding whether or not a lenient sentence is suitable.

Martin suffered below a merciless stepmother who mistreated him and his three brothers so badly for a number of years that he left house on the age of 16 and commenced ingesting and stealing.

Whereas on parole from jail, Martin’s girlfriend grew to become pregnant with twins, however he missed their start after his parole was revoked. Proper after his girlfriend introduced the 1-month-old twins to jail to satisfy him, they died after a prepare struck her automobile.

“This was actually the turning level in Terry’s life — his villain origin story — and the rationale he not solely went down his darkish path however accelerated in the direction of it,” DeKrey wrote. “His son stated it greatest: ‘the twins’ demise made (my dad) simply quit on life; he selected a lifetime of crime.’”

Martin’s lawyer additionally stated the decide ought to take into account that Martin had not dedicated another crimes in almost a decade earlier than stealing the slippers nor within the years since then. DeKrey stated Martin did not even attempt to declare a slice of the insurance coverage reward cash when a few of his former associates tried to gather.

Garland wore a number of pairs of ruby slippers throughout filming of the traditional 1939 musical, however solely 4 genuine pairs are identified to stay. The stolen slippers had been insured for $1 million, however federal prosecutors put the present market worth at about $3.5 million.

The FBI stated a person approached the insurer in 2017 and claimed he might assist get well them however demanded greater than the $200,000 reward being supplied. The slippers had been recovered during an FBI sting in Minneapolis. The FBI has by no means disclosed the way it tracked down the slippers, which stay within the company’s custody.

The slippers had been on mortgage to the museum from Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw when Martin stole them. Three different pairs worn by Garland within the film are held by the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and a non-public collector.

A number of rewards were offered over time in hopes of determining who stole the slippers, which had been key props within the movie. Garland’s character, Dorothy, has to click on the heels of the slippers 3 times and repeat, “There’s no place like house,” to return to Kansas.

Garland was born Frances Gumm in 1922. She lived in Grand Rapids, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Minneapolis, till she was 4, when her household moved to Los Angeles. She died in 1969.

The Judy Garland Museum, situated in the home the place she lived, says it has the world’s largest assortment of Garland and Wizard of Oz memorabilia.

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