Sink-thief's sentence may not change

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 02:20 PM

It's going to be a while before a man convicted of stealing a kitchen sink finds out whether a N.C. Court of Appeals decision translates into a reduction in his jail sentence, his lawyer says.

The court on Tuesday sustained the conviction of Joshua L. Frye, 34, on charges of breaking and entering, larceny, possession of stolen goods and being a habitual felon.

But because lower-court records weren't clear on whether Frye's trial judge had incorrectly given him time for the possession charge, the Court of Appeals said he should be re-sentenced.

Frye's appellate lawyer, N.C. Central University law professor Irving Joyner, said Wednesday the outcome will depend on how another attorney handles the re-sentencing proceeding.

"My guess is it will probably end up being the same," Joyner said of Frye's seven- to nine-year prison term. "But depending on how the attorney presents it in court, it could end up being something different."

Frye was convicted early in 2012 of pillaging a house on Harvard Avenue in a search for scrap to sell. He contended the charges should have been dismissed because the house was abandoned. But visiting Superior Court Judge Henry Hight, his trial judge, and the Court of Appeals disagreed. 

They said there was no proof the house's owner had terminated ownership of it.