Man sentenced to 6 life sentences for theft

Published 12:28 pm Saturday, January 7, 2017

The man convicted of stealing from Covington County businesses was sentenced to six terms of life in prison Friday.

0107-jimenezpeteCircuit Judge Lex Short handed down the life sentences to Pete Jimenez, 42.

He was convicted of four counts of theft of property I and two counts of theft of property II in May 2016.

Short ordered Jimenez to pay court costs and fines of $50,000.

The charges brought against Jimenez stem from thefts of Covington County businesses from 2013.

Investigators from the Opp Police Department, Andalusia Police Department and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office worked a joint investigation and determined from security video that Jimenez was a suspect.

After Jimenez was stopped for a traffic violation and found to be in possession of stolen property, he was questioned and admitted to committing the thefts and selling the stolen property to his customers.

The businesses affected included J.M. Jackson, Ireland Trailer, SunSouth John Deere and Andalusia Tire Co.

Evidence shown at the sentencing hearing showed that Jimenez had nine prior felony convictions in Alabama and several in Florida, all of which were for property crimes.

Jimenez was represented by Benton Persons. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Walt Merrell and Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter.

After the sentencing hearing, Merrell said, “Pete Jimenez has quite possibly the most extensive criminal record I’ve ever seen. Despite that, the sentencing standards passed by the legislature as “prison reform” mandated he be sentenced to 154 months, which is not even 13 years. The only way we could ask Judge Short to sentence him outside the standards was to prove “aggravating factors” to the jury. We did prove the aggravating factors, and it was the first time it had been done in Covington County. I appreciate Judge Short sentencing Pete Jimenez to the maximum sentences. The sentencing standards deem him a “nonviolent offender.” His crimes may not be classified as “violent crimes,” but he is nonetheless a threat to the community – just ask the business owners he stole from.”

Jimenez also has charges of theft of property, receiving stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools pending in Escambia and Baldwin counties.