News

Menlo Park thief sentenced to prison

Garry Ronald Darnell, 27, of East Palo Alto received a sentence of four years in state prison on Nov. 1 after a conviction in May of robbery, grand theft and other charges over an incident in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park.

In October 2012, Mr. Darnell stole a woman's purse while she was unloading her car and, in the process, shoved her to the ground, prosecutors said.

The sentence by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Stephen Hall included $920 in fines, $250 in restitution to the victim, registration of his DNA and as a drug offender, and credit for 445 days for time already served in the county jail, prosecutors said.

Menlo Park police located and arrested Mr. Darnell on Oct. 11, 2012, after a woman residing in the Willows neighborhood reported to police that while unloading her car, she had come out her house and surprised a man rummaging through it. She confronted him as he was leaving the scene with her backpack and he walked back and shoved her to the ground, then dropped her backpack and fled with her purse, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found methamphetamine in Mr. Darnell's possession along with items allegedly stolen in connection with five other auto burglaries and thefts.

During the trial, defense attorney Eric Hove suggested that police were lying about some aspects of the case, but the argument did not sway the jury. Mr. Hove did not respond to a request for comment.

— Almanac staff

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