Man gets prison for burglarizing home of elderly man
John Paul Nichols Jr. is sentenced to 32 years in prison, to serve 14, for stealing around $180,000 in items from the home of an elderly man in October 2016.
A Cave Spring man who stole an estimated $180,000 in jewelry, heirloom collectibles and tools from an elderly family member on Oct. 26, 2016, was sentenced Monday to 32 years in prison, to serve 14.
According to information presented in court:
Floyd County Superior Court Judge Billy Sparks handed down the sentence to 39-year-old John Paul Nichols Jr. after he was found guilty on charges of first-degree burglary, exploitation of an elderly person, theft by taking and two counts of theft by deception.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Salmon read a statement from the 90-year-old victim, who was in the hospital after suffering a stroke, that called for a maximum sentence and indicated a lack of remorse shown by Nichols.
“We don’t feel safe in our own home,” the statement read, pointing to the impact left from the burglary, which resulted in the loss of irreplaceable items, on him and his wife. “John Paul Nichols Jr. needs to sit in that jail cell for a very long time.”
Nichols addressed the court with a trembling voice and apologized to his family and two 13-year-old daughters. His wife of 17 years said despite his recent actions Nichols is a good person and has shown remorse.
“I think remorse and the definition of remorse has been confused with regret,” said Salmon. “Mr. Nichols should be ashamed.”
Nichols’ wife pleaded with Sparks to take into consideration the milestones that Nichols will miss in his daughters’ lives.
“No 13-year-old should see their father go to prison,” Sparks said.
However, the judge added that though it doesn’t make him feel good, he couldn’t take consider that in his sentencing.
Assistant Floyd County Public Defender Jonathan Speiser said the burglary was the first major charge of Nichols’ life — he was previously charged with misdemeanor shoplifting.
“He’s made it a long way without any charges,” Speiser said.
Speiser also pointed to Nichols struggle with addiction and his need for help with the matter.
“This is not a stealing for a habit type of thing,” said Sparks, adding this incident is something in a completely different category.
Upon his release from prison, he will have to pay full restitution, which Sparks said Nichols will never be able to fully pay back the value of what he took along with interest, even if he was on probation for life.
Drug and alcohol counseling was imposed on Nichols upon his release.
John Paul Nichols Jr.