Chocolate bar thief gets 16 years

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Kenneth Payne III's sweet tooth has landed him in a bitter place - prison.

Payne drew a 16-year prison sentence last month after being convicted of swiping a Snickers candy bar from a convenience store.

It wasn't the first time that Payne's chocolate craving prompted a run-in with the law. He has a previous conviction for stealing a bag of Oreos.

The district attorney's office tried Payne as a habitual offender, bumping the misdemeanor shoplifting charge to felony theft, making him eligible for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Jodi Brown said on Monday she was a little surprised by the jury's sentencing recommendation on the theft of the $1 chocolate bar on Dec. 17.

"But it was a king-size," she added. "And it was a Snickers bar. If it was a Milky Way, we probably wouldn't have even tried him on it."

Besides the cookie theft, Payne also has a previous conviction for stealing a box of tools. "He was no stranger to the system and disregarding the law," Brown said.

Payne's attorney, Linda Altier, said she will appeal.

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