Stanley Dean Livingston Steals Signed Deed During Meeting, Claims Property Is Now His | January 17
Bartow: A Davenport man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for grabbing the signed deed to a $219,000 new home and dashing out the door with it midway through a meeting to finalize the home purchase. In September, a six-member jury deliberated 34 minutes before convicting Stanley Dean Livingston, 45, of grand theft and filing a false document against real property. Livingston, who had represented himself in the three-day trial, faced up to 30 years in prison for the grand theft conviction.
However, state sentencing guidelines, which take into account past criminal history and other circumstances, called for 42 months in prison, which is what Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen imposed on Dec. 13. He also sentenced Livingston to 10 years’ probation after his release from prison.
Livingston said he had no intention of stealing the home, but believed that the seller, Starlight Homes Florida, already had been paid or should have been paid for the newly built home prior to the meeting to close on the sale.
Midway through the meeting, Livingston excused himself to use the restroom, according to testimony. When he returned to the meeting, he grabbed the deed, which Starlight Homes officials already had signed, and ran out the front door to his truck. Closing agent Falon Cox told jurors she had run after Livingston, but he already had driven from the parking lot.
Two days later, on a Monday, he filed the deed with the Polk County Clerk of Courts, according to testimony, and it was recorded in the county’s official records. He told the clerks he had paid $1 for the house and property, where he was now living.
During the trial, Livingston offered no testimony or evidence to support his position that he hadn’t intended to steal the house.
After his arrest, Stanley Dean Livingston had remained free on $18,000 bail until the jury convicted him. Jacobsen remanded him into custody following his conviction in September, and at sentencing, he gave Livingston credit for the three and a half months he’d spent in the Polk County Jail awaiting sentencing.
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