Friday, July 2, 2010

Man Linked To Cigar Gets Prison For ’08 Burglary

It wasn’t a smoking gun, but rather a burning cigar that helped get Sean Andrae Singleton arrested and eventually convicted in connection with a burglary in Naples Park in 2008.

On Thursday, Collier County Circuit Judge Fred Hardt sentenced Singleton to 20 years in prison on a charge of burglary and five years in prison on a charge of grand theft. Both sentences are to be served at the same time.

A Collier County Circuit Court jury found Singleton, 34, of Fort Myers Beach, guilty of both felony charges following a two-day trial in June.

Hardt adjudicated Singleton guilty of the charges and sentenced him as a habitual felony offender and a prison release reoffender. Due to his designation as a prison release reoffender, Singleton must serve 100 percent of the first 15 years of his sentence. He will then have to complete 85 percent of the remaining five years of his sentence before being considered for parole or other forms of early release.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports gave this account of Singleton’s arrest:

Deputies responded to a report of a burglary at 710 103rd Ave. N. on Sept. 4, 2008. The homeowner told deputies that electronics, including a television, computer and DVD player, valued at $1,845, had been stolen from inside the residence.

Deputies quickly located the stolen items inside of a rental van parked next to the victim’s home. The next-door neighbors told deputies that they were using the van to move, but that they didn’t recognize any of the items inside the truck.

Deputies found a still-lit cigar near the van. The neighbors told deputies that Singleton had been helping them move. They also said Singleton smoked the same brand of cigar as the one found near the van.

Deputies located Singleton, who acted nervous but denied any knowledge of the crime. The still-burning cigar, along with the inconsistent statement he gave to deputies and circumstantial evidence, all pointed to Singleton as being the person who committed the crime.

The cigar was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s forensic laboratory for DNA analysis. In December 2009 an FDLE lab report confirmed that Singleton’s DNA was on the cigar.

On Dec. 18, 2009, deputies located Singleton and arrested him. A judge set bond at $180,000.Singleton has remained in custody at the Collier County jail since his arrest.

Singleton is a documented career criminal with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. His prior felony convictions in Collier date back to 1993, when he was convicted of three counts of grand theft. In 1995 he was convicted of three counts of vehicle burglary, two counts of dealing in stolen property and two counts of grand theft.

Prior to Thursday’s sentencing, Singleton had been sentenced to a Florida correctional institution on three occasions. He was last released from state prison on Oct. 31, 2005, after completing a 54-month sentence out of Lee County on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a concealed firearm, along with a concurrent 36-month sentence out of Collier County for grand theft.