Immediately after anyone is sentenced in court for a misdemeanor or a felony, the person is always ushered to a stand a few feet from the judge and fingerprinted for the court’s records. It usually takes a minute or 90 seconds as the individual, usually in shackles, tries to navigate the mechanics of the pad, the ink, the bailiffs’ instructions and the handcuffs.
It took George Wood eight seconds this morning.
His fingers keyboarded from inkpad to fingerprint card with the speed of a veteran stenographer, but more like a boy trying to impress his elders. It was an almost poignant irony closing a sentencing hearing with nothing poignant about it: Wood, at age 32, was just found guilty of his 13th and 14th felonies, a life if crime that began when he was 16, stretched over two states (he grew up in louisiana), included two stints in Florida state prison, the last one ending four years ago, the third one, starting today, to last 10 years. And he’s yet to face another trial later this month that could result in a life term without parole.
Wood wore the routine of his convictions on his sleeves: when the judge asked him at the beginning of the hearing whether he preferred to sit next to his public defender instead of on the more wooden, less cushy chairs where defendants are usually lined up in pre-trials, he just shrugged. When the judge and the attorneys were discussing whether he should be judged a habitual offender, he was not paying attention, instead flipping off a photographer.
This morning, Circuit Judge Dennis Craig adjudicated Wood guilty on five charges, including escape and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, charges for which he was found guilty by two juries in separate trials this year and last. The offenses resulted from an incident at Bunnell’s Circle K a year ago, when a deputy approached him as the deputy was investigating the reports of an argument, and Wood at first refused to answer questions then, inexplicably, took off, jumping into a car, briefly dragging a deputy holding on to the car, crashing the car, getting tased, then managing to escape out of the patrol car where he’d been detained, taking cops on a chase and being discovered from the air with an infrared camera (it all happened at night).
Because he was found guilty of more felonies within a five-year window of his last, Craig declared him a habitual offender. Because he was a habitual offender, his second-degree felonies, normally carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison, could be doubled, to 30 years. That’s what Assistant State Attorney Mark Lewis asked for. “Mr Woods shows no remorse, has learned nothing from his previous incarcerations,” Lewis told the judge. (Not showing remorse, as the judge noted, may not be what it seems: a defendant may also need to preserve a no-guilty posture in case of appeal, and when Craig noted that, Wood nodded.)
Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally, who can habitually deflate any prosecutor’s hyperbole with hyperbole of her own, conceded that Wood has had “some history since he was 16” and has had “a relatively unstable life.” But she offered as mitigating actors his lack of structure with a father who gave him the wrong examples and went on to put last February’s incident in a different context: Wood was not engaged in any criminal activity when a cop showed up. He just refused to answer questions and “panicked.” He ran, a display of his usual anxieties, Nunnally said. “Yeah he made people work, but going to prison for 30 years for what, $30 damage to a car? To me, that would be overkill,” Nunnally said.
The judge agreed.
“The state’s argument about your long history, and your long history is significant,” Craig told Wood, who by then was standing in front of the judge, “the state’s argument is actually reasonable in the circumstance. Also Ms. Nunnally’s argument is reasonable under the circumstance, that you shouldn’t be sentenced to an extended period of time.” He continued:
“The reason I’m not going to sentence you as to the state suggests is effectively, there are no victims involved in the offense, number one. Two, nobody did get hurt, but quite frankly there was a high risk of somebody getting hurt, particularly when the deputy was hanging on to the vehicle when the vehicle crashed,” and when Wood finally jumped out of a tree, hurting his back, as deputies had surrounded him. “You could have ended up paralyzed just for a fall out of that tree,” the judge said.
He sentenced him to 10 years in state prison. The 10-year sentence is less than it seems. He’s already knocked off a year by serving it in the local jail, awaiting trials. And he could get 15 percent of the time off for good behavior. On the other hand, the lesser sentence could be a mere technical reprieve from much worse ahead.
Wood still faces trial for an armed burglary in Palm Coast. He was offered a 15-year plea. He turned it down. That was before today’s sentencing. Craig wanted to know if the plea is still on the table, otherwise Wood goes to trial later this month, and if convicted, faces a mandatory life in prison term, without parole. It was not clear if the plea was still on the table. Wood wanted time to consider it anyway. He is to reappear before Craig next Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing on the armed burglary. That may result in a plea, possibly adding five years to his prison sentence–unless he opts for trial.
Lmao what an idiot !!
Seems like the judicial system are the idiots.
My husband is an awesome man just made some mistakes , but didn’t deserve to spend a large amount of years in jail I’m so glad the judge say the situation for what it was and made the right decision , and he has family that loves him and will stand by him through this until he comes home .and he isn’t this bad man everyone is making him out to be he is an awesome man ,, son ,husband, and father and the love of my life . So please keep the negative uneducated comments to your self’s
By George! 10 years in the Florida Hotel for Felons. No air-conditioning
and big juicy bugs dropping by impromptu.
Just the truth says
Life in prison sounds better.
I hope he gets convicted for his armed robbery as well , we don’t need to ever see this jackass on the street again
It is very sad that people who haven’t a clue about the whole issue embarrass themselves making uneducated comments. George did not deserve 10 years, he has many issues which were not mentioned in court and the juries didn’t know. This is a case of a person getting sent to prison instead of being sent to a mental health facility. This is very sad.
@SAMANTHA I admire your love loyalty etc. BUT he has made it very easy for negative vibe to be associated with his actions which are illegal lenghthy and with no remorse. Some time to think about his actions may help unfortunately I personally do not think that time will matter. Good luck
Born and Raised Here says
The man definitely has social and behavioral issues. I don’t know if he will be rehabilitated in prison, sounds to me he has psychological issues that need professional assistance.
Love and loyalty will always be I’m his wife and people making assumptions about him and his actions aren’t on a factual basis , and to assume he had no remorse is just plain crazy to me , and time does matter he has a family who loves and needs and misses him and just keep in mind if this was your son or husband or brother would you appreciate the things being said about them like you are trying to say about George without even knowing the first thing about him he is a wonderful man with a heart of gold truly
Samantha I’m sorry that you have to go through this but I truly hope that George gets the help that he needs.
@Samantha you are absolutely right but the record speaks for itself Dear. What is done is done
Just the truth says
If, this criminal who kept breaking the law, has a mental problem then why didn’t his parents get him the help he needed before he decided to take the life of crime as his profession. Don’t put the blame on the courts or the judges.
Family is first says
Samantha you speak of family,son,a good man correct .
But what about the victims of ways and behavioral problems.
Well I wonder how you would feel if your family was apart of is crimes prior. How would you feel if it was your husband that was this Deputy that your husband tried to drive off with while hanging on the car doing his job? And if he is such the good man you speak of why should he be allowed to keep committing this crimes and lack of respect for others families since you speak of family. If you think people are going to treat or look at him as this poor innocent young man.
Sorry his victims of passed and present crimes will be the one people will feel sorry for. But yes his actions at whatever level also make you one of his victims along with his family cause y’all have to suffer his actions and lack of willingness for him to respect y’all and do right for his family. So if your looking for someone blame for his absence in your life .
Please feel free to blame the man you speak so highly of that you say is a good man. You know that guys name in the article. Your husband that chooses to live a life of crime. No matter the mental fear he put in victims which some of may never get over his crimes. And why hasn’t he learned if he is such a family man why would he commit these crimes against other people’s family members. Or hurt his own that you say he cares so much for by making his Wife have to cope with his absence and make you have to go through all this with out your husband’s assistance in the next few years. Or life if he goes through the next trial. The victims are his victims , you , the tax payers including his victims now get to support him and take care of him. But He is a good man you say. Well I sure wish he had proved you right and did right. Then no one would have a reason to say anything. At his age he has already served to prior prison terms in Florida plus this one. So again I feel sorry for you and family . But not for the one that could care less about the damage he has done to others. Guess he should have taken better decisions and tried supporting his family if he cared so much not committing crimes. That’s causing you to suffer his lack of giving a darn.
But I wish you the best in going through this young lady. But it’s time for him to suffer his own actions.
@Jenn thank’s Jenn and yea we will get through weekend visits until hes home and he wil get the help he needs l I’ll make sure of it , I hope your doing well and congratulations on graduating and give the kids our love ..
@Jenn Thanks jenn but everything will be alright I’m in it for eternity with him and this hard time is only temporary , and I will definietly make sure he gets the help he needs , I hope your doing well Jenn and congrats on the graduation and give the kids our love .
Family is first says
With his past a crime is a crime and if he qualified for the 30 under the repeat offender they should have obliged his actions with what his score sheet plus the repeat offender maximum
14 felonies but “he is a wonderful man” lmao
Thanks jenn but everything will be alright I’m in it for eternity with him and this hard time is only temporary , and I will definietly make sure he gets the help he needs , I hope your doing well Jenn and congrats on the graduation and give the kids our love .
So…um…this “loving” man was also arrested for….drum roll please….battery domestic violence?
14 felonies – c’mon…..are you kidding. If this happened in some other states he would have been in prison for life without parole after the third one. Help for George after 14 felonies? There is no help for a person addicted to committing felonies. You reap what you sow!
Samantha love and loyalty are great things.some people just get blindsided by love and forget about the love and loyalty there own biological family has given to them for the past 26 years .
I’m not going to make any rude, flippant, or “uneducated”, comments here about Mr. Wood, although I could, based upon that court photo of him with the indignant scowl on his mug. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that his family and friends adore him, as they should. He truly must have some really great qualities for them to publicly rally around him in his forum, even with those “14 felonies” under his belt (those are just the ones the he was caught and convicted for). Imagine the crimes he committed that went undetected and/or unpunished. That being said…society, this community doesn’t have to love him. He will get out soon enough; and into the “loving” arms of his family and friends. Hopefully he will have learned his lesson. Time will tell. There. See? Some of us can actually write nice uplifting things!
Everybody makes mistakes in life. He is going to get the help that he needs so stop at your negative comments. If this was your loved one how would you like to read all the negative BS on here. None of you know him personally to make assumptions that he’s a horrible person.
Samantha get in touch with me
Everybody is so quick to judge it is absolutely terrible. This is why the world the way it is. yes he needs help and yes he’s going to get the help that he needs so instead of bashing him how about saying a prayer for him and his family. Samantha get in touch with me
May I add that there was neglect here in his formative years. Usually we equate neglect with deprivation related to food, drink, health care, schooling, and shelter; not discipline in a correct way. If you don’t discipline your child, you don’t care for him or her. It’s too bad that more and more of these cases are happening now.