Minneapolis— After being sentenced Monday, a dying thief who stole Judy Garland's ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” to get “one last score” is expected to avoid prison.
Terry Jon Martin, 76, stole the slippers from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 2005. He succumbed when an old mafia acquaintance persuaded him the shoes needed actual gems to justify their $1 million insured value, his counsel wrote in a report to the federal court before his Duluth sentence.
When someone sought to claim a reward in 2018, the FBI found the sneakers. Only last year was Martin accused with taking them.
In October, he pled guilty to stealing a major artwork by smashing the museum entrance and display case glass with a hammer to steal the shoes. His reason was unknown until defense counsel Dane DeKrey disclosed it last month.
Martin, who resides near Grand Rapids, stated at the October hearing that he wanted to sell the shoes' rubies. Martin said a fence, who trades in stolen items, told him the rubies were glass. So he removed the slippers.
Martin's anonymous old mafia partner convinced him to take the slippers as “one last score,” even though Martin had “finally put his demons to rest” during his previous jail stint over 10 years earlier, according to DeKrey's letter.
Terry first refused the heist invitation. DeKrey said that old habits die hard, and the prospect of a ‘final score’ kept him up at night. “After much consideration, Terry had a criminal relapse and participated in the theft.”
Because Martin is housebound in hospice care and anticipated to die within six months, both parties urge Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz sentence him to time served. When he pled guilty, he was wheelchair-bound and needed oxygen for COPD.
STAY TURNED FOR DEVELOPMENT