James Grady, 61, of East Palo Alto has pleaded no contest to charges related to a 2014 intrusion into an Atherton home and the burglary of a Menlo Park home and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Jan. 27 by San Mateo County Criminal Court Judge Leland Davis, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Mr. Grady had 15 prior felony convictions and had been in prison on a previous 25-years-to-life sentence when he was released in 2003 after Californians approved changes that made the "three strikes" law more lenient.
He was once again subject to the three strikes law in this prosecution and could have been sentenced to life in prison, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The prosecutors said they had a plethora of evidence that Mr. Grady had committed the crimes: he dropped his cellphone and ID during a police chase, left his fingerprints and DNA at the crime scene, and was identified by a witness.
The incident started in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2014, when an Atherton resident heard someone enter his home and called police, who chased the suspect through Atherton and into Menlo Park.
During the chase, Mr. Grady dropped his jacket, with cellphone and identification in the pockets, prosecutors said.
The man eluded police by wiggling through a dog door into a home on Harmon Drive in Menlo Park, Mr. Wagstaffe said. The residents were not home, and the man was accused of hiding out, drinking tequila and beer, and stealing $62,000 in jewelry and other property before leaving.
Mr. Wagstaffe said the man left fingerprints and DNA on the alcohol bottles in the Menlo Park home. After Mr. Grady was arrested weeks later in Oakland, the Atherton resident also identified him, Mr. Wagstaffe said.
Mr. Grady is scheduled to return to court on March 11 for the judge to decide on what restitution he should pay, the district attorney said.