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Man Narrowly Avoids Decade-Long Sentence in West Philly Tire Slashings

(Harry Gaines.  Phila. PD photo)

(Harry Gaines. Phila. PD photo)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 28-year-old man was sentenced today to prison after pleading guilty to slashing the tires on 56 cars in West Philadelphia last January (see related stories).

Judge Rayford Means initially handed down a sentence of 5-10 years with 30 years’ probation for Harry Gaines.
However, after defense attorney Geoff Kilroy argued that the sentence did not match the state guidelines, Means reduced the sentence to 11½ to 23 months, with work release so Gaines could pay restitution.

Prosecutor Allison Pavero is not satisfied with the judge’s decision because, she says, this is the type of crime that causes people to move out of the city.

“Why would you live in the City of Philadelphia if you can’t even park your car outside of your house?” she said after the sentencing.  “I mean, these are people that are literally just parking their car on their blocks, and they wake up and realize they can’t go about their day.”

Gaines will not get credit for time served.

He told the court he has learned from this and wants to pay back everyone whom he affected.

Gaines’ half-sister, Aleze Lewis, pleaded not guilty to charges that she was involved in the tire slashings that night and is awaiting trial.

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