Gang Member Sentenced to 126 Years in Jail for Heist Described In Memoir
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A former gang member convicted in a jewelry heist that resembled robberies he described in his memoir has been sentenced to 126 years in prison.
Colton Simpson, 41, declined to speak during Friday's sentencing hearing and showed no reaction when Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III issued the sentence.
Simpson, who has previous felony convictions, was sentenced under the state's three strikes law. He was found guilty of robbery, burglary and grand theft for his role in a 2003 heist at a Robinsons-May Co. department store jewelry counter in Temecula.
Simpson was accused of being the mastermind and getaway car driver. Two unidentified men, who were not prosecuted, were accused of entering the store and actually pulling off the heist.
Dickerson permitted Simpson's 2005 memoir, "Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang," to be presented as evidence during the trial.
Prosecutors argued that a visit by Simpson to the jewelry counter two days before the robbery was similar to scenes in the book.