HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Harrison County man who can't seem to stop stealing will spend the next 22 years in prison, after being sentenced under a new legislative provision for habitual offenders.
District Attorney Joel Smith said James Busby, 46, was convicted of auto burglary Thursday after a two day trial. He said Busby was arrested in May 2012 after being spotted driving the stolen pickup on I-110 in Biloxi.
Testimony at trial showed that officers with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department had taken the complaint earlier that morning regarding a pickup that had been stolen during the night and promptly put out a report to area law enforcement to be on the lookout for the stolen pickup.
"Biloxi Police officers apprehended Busby after a short pursuit when he tried to flee from the police. During the pursuit, Busby drove the stolen truck into a yard where it became stuck in the mud," said Assistant District Attorney Jason Josef, who prosecuted the case.
At the time of his arrest for stealing the pickup, Busby was also found in possession of a stolen wallet and credit card, which had been taken from another victim's car the previous night.
Smith said Busby had five prior felony convictions in Harrison County, all of which involved theft, and he was indicted as a habitual offender.
"He was prosecuted not only prosecuted as an habitual offender, but also under a new legislative provision that subjected him to an increased penalty because of his prior conviction for another auto theft," said DA Smith.
Judge Roger Clark sentenced Busby to the maximum sentence of 15 years, which must be served day for day, without the possibility of parole.
The defendant's sentence will also run consecutive to a seven year sentence he received for a revocation of the post-release supervision he was on when arrested for the burglary and theft charges. That means he will serve a total of 22 years in prison.