November 27, 2014
A former gang member convicted in a jewelry heist that resembled robberies he described in a memoir about gang life has received a 126-year state prison sentence.
Colton Simpson declined to speak on his own behalf during the sentencing hearing on Friday.
The 41-year-old showed no reaction when Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson III issued the sentence.
Simpson was sentenced under the state's three strikes law because he has previous felony convictions.
He was found guilty of robbery, burglary and grand theft for his role in masterminding a 2003 heist at a Robinsons-May Co. department store jewelry counter in Temecula.
Two unidentified men, who were not prosecuted, were accused of actually entering the store and robbing a diamond earring.
Dickerson permitted Simpson's 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 he detailed in the 2005 book.
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