Teen sentenced to five years in prison for stealing shoes

Columbus, GA (WGCL) — A Columbus teen will spend the next five years behind bars after being convicted of stealing a pair of tennis shoes.

Prosecutors say Dayonn Davis robbed a man of his tennis shoes and during the incident, his friend pulled out a gun. Now, the Columbus teen is going to prison.

Davis was sentenced to five years in prison along with 10 years probation. The sentence was actually part of a plea deal that reduced his armed robbery charge to robbery.

Criminal defense attorney Matt Crosby says not taking that deal would have been risky and could have meant life in prison.

“If you do it in their presence, whether you snatch it out of their hand or say ‘give me your shoes or your money,’ then that’s with force. That’s robbery” said Crosby. “If they turn their head and you take a $150 pair of shoes, it’s a misdemeanor. It’s a little nutty when you think about it.”

As long as you’re near the weapon, you can be charged with a felony. It comes with a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. In the state of Georgia, the law applies to offenders as young as 13 years-old.

According to a study released last year by the United States Sentencing Commission, black men received sentences that were almost 20 percent longer than white men in a similar situation.