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Sailboat thief sentenced

NOV. 16 — A Jacksonville, Fla., man was sentenced Monday to serve one year in a halfway house for stealing a rare yacht in 2004.

Kevin J. Simmons, 27, who plead guilty to federal charges of transporting stolen goods, apparently avoided a jail term after he began crying in court, a news report says. U.S. District Judge Patrick M. Duffy said he doubted Simmons would survive in prison.

“I saw in your face the abject terror of going to prison,” Duffy reportedly told Simmons.

Simmons was also ordered to pay half of the $120,000 in damages to the boat, the report says. Simmons’ accomplice, Jeremiah W. Green, also of Jacksonville, did not attend the sentencing.

Simmons and Green stole the Beneteau 57, Latitude Adjustment III, Jan. 7, 2004, from a dock in Charleston, S.C. Authorities recovered the boat three weeks later at a marina in Freeport, Bahamas. Valued at $750,000, the boat is one of only 35 built.

— Jason Fell