July 17, 2009

Murderer gets life for shoplifting

A man convicted of shoplifting five CDs from a Texas Wal-Mart while on parole on a murder conviction was sentenced by a jury to life in prison.

Keith Balentine, 47, who was convicted along with his brother in a shooting death 25 years ago, was released on parole in 2006. He was arrested March 20, 2008 on a charge of first-degree robbery for taking the CDs from the store in Conroe and injuring a store loss prevention officer who tried to detain him, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday.

The jury was informed of Balentine's prior convictions, including the murder and previous cases of theft, during sentencing proceedings.

They agreed with us that he just needed to go away for the rest of his life, Montgomery County prosecutor Brett Peabody said. He was not going to be able to adapt to life in the free world with honest people.

Peabody said Balentine's parole for his previous life sentence will likely be revoked and the judge in the case ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.