LANCASTER, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– A state prison inmate who burglarized 28 homes will not receive sentence relief for his 66-year sentence, a state appeals court ruled this week.
Stewart Lazarus pleaded guilty in 2013 to his 2012 robbery spree and was sentenced to 33-66 years in prison.
The robbery spree, which spanned 7 months, included robberies from many of Lazarus’ former friends and acquaintances. He stole cash, jewelry, family heirlooms, guns, electronics, and even young girls’ piggy banks.
In his request for relief of that sentence, Lazarus, 54, alleges that his appeal lawyer abandoned him when he expressed desire to file an appeal.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in an opinion issued Tuesday that Lazarus’ claims were false, and an appeal is too late at this point.
The court found that:
– The lawyer was credible in explaining that Lazarus actually informed him in a 2016 correspondence he did not wish to pursue an appeal.
– Lazarus was not credible in his testimony in which he said he wanted an appeal.
– Lazarus’ reason for being late with the appeal – he couldn’t get to the law library for months – was not credible.
Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely ordered the sentence and denied Lazarus’ initial request for relief.