On Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Taney County Circuit Court, CHRISTOPHER PARENTI (d/o/b 07-25-1982), of Branson, was sentenced by Judge Mark Orr to eight (8) years in prison for felony stealing. The charge stemmed from defendantâ€™s theft of a television from Wal-Mart in April of 2011. Parentiâ€™s eight (8) year prison sentence was executed pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutorâ€™s Office.
On April 19, 2011, Branson Police Officer Randall Blackburn was dispatched to the Wal-Mart on State Highway 76 in referencing to a stealing incident, in which a male stole a 55â€ flat screen television, valued at approximately $1,500.00. The man managed to leave the store with the television, but ultimately abandoned the TV in the parking lot and fled on foot. Surveillance footage was recovered by officers, but they were not immediately able to identify the man. On April 20, 2011, Branson Officer Lawrence Gott responded to a domestic dispute between a male and Christopher Parenti at a local apartment complex. During the investigation of that dispute, the male mentioned to officers, â€œbecause it was the right thing to do,â€ that the defendant admitted to him that he stole the television from Wal-Mart the previous night. With this new information, officers re-reviewed the surveillance footage and were able to successfully identify Parenti as the man who stole the television.
Parenti had pleaded guilty to the felony stealing charge as a prior and persistent felony offender, meaning that he had at least two (2) previous felony convictions. Felony stealing is a class C felony, which normally carries a maximum of seven (7) years and/or a fine of $5,000.00. Because the Taney County Prosecutorâ€™s Office had charged Parenti as a prior and persistent offender, his maximum possible prison sentence was enhanced to fifteen (15) years.