Orange County judge shows compassion for homeless veteran accused of shoplifting
WFTV ABC News 9
Updated: May 20, 2016
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.
A homeless man who fought in Vietnam asked an Orange County judge to lock him up and throw away the key.
The man was accused of shoplifting, but the judge showed the man some compassion.
“We owe these guys. I mean, they’re veterans,” sad Judge Jerry Brewer. “They did that No. 1 thing that the majority of people haven’t done.”
Lawrence Clark started by claiming he was guilty, something people rarely do in their first court appearance.
Police said he rode his wheelchair into a downtown Orlando Publix last week where he grabbed a 12-pack of beer.
When Clark went in front of a judge, his wheelchair hidden by a tall desk, he told his story to Brewer.
“I’m homeless. A disabled Vietnam veteran, and the VA is screwing me around. Social Security is doing the same thing,” Clark said.
Brewer said he was only mildly surprised by what happened after he told Clark he would appoint him a public defender.
“No, no your honor, I just want to plead guilty and ask you to sentence me to the maximum sentence,” said Brewer.
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