The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

September 14, 2012

Judge imposes shock incarceration on tornado burglar

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The former owner of a motorcycle and scooter shop convinced a judge on Friday to assess the burglar who ripped off his business the night of the Joplin tornado some shock time in prison.

Circuit Judge David Mouton sentenced Jake A. Busby, 27, at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court to two concurrent seven-year terms on convictions for second-degree burglary and theft.

The judge sentenced the defendant under a state shock-incarceration program, meaning he must serve 120 days in prison before he can be brought back before the judge for possible placement on probation.

The probation and parole office had recommended in a sentencing-assessment report that Busby, who has no other felony convictions, receive a suspended sentence and community-based punishment. But Shane Smith, former owner of Smith Family Powersports, asked in a victim-impact statement that the judge consider shock incarceration instead for the defendant.

Busby broke in to the shop at 2201 E. Seventh St. the night of May 22, 2011, and stole several motorcycles, scooters and tools.

“In the course of one night, you destroyed our business,” Smith told Busby at the hearing.

About $20,000 worth of property was taken in the break-in, and little was recovered, Smith said. When his insurance covered just $3,000 of the loss, he was forced to lay off employees and close the shop. Smith told the court that Busby has shown no remorse and instead harassed his family with restraining orders in the year since the crime.

Busby apologized to the Smiths when he took the witness stand at the hearing.

“I wasn’t even thinking that night,” he said.

He had just lost his job, his wife was pregnant and he was worried about supporting her and his son, he said.

“I wish I could take it back,” Busby said. “I wish I could smack myself in the face.”

John Nicholas, assistant prosecutor, said the amount of restitution the defendant would owe if the court were to place him on probation would be $17,300.

“I have serious concerns about this defendant’s ability to pay (that),” Nicholas said.

The judge decided that the defendant should receive shock-incarceration time and that he would address the matter of restitution if or when he eventually is granted probation.

 

Guilty plea

Jake Busby pleaded guilty in July to burglary and theft in a plea agreement that dropped three other counts of theft that he was facing in the break-in at Smith Family Powersports.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

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    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

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    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

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    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

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    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

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    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

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    April 9, 2014

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