Dec 17, 2013 6:38 PM by Matthew Schwartz
Tucson--A new development in the case of the alleged "Craigslist Con Man." Leonard Giso is going to take his chances with a trial, and risk being sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.
His head shaved and an arm in a sling, Giso sat expressionless in court. Giso's public defender told Pima County Judge Paul Tang that Giso has rejected a plea deal that would have given him between three and a half and 12 years in prison. Giso will take his chances with a trial, and if found guilty of all of the four felonies and one misdemeanor he's charged with, he faces 105 years.
As the News 4 Tucson Investigators first reported in July, Giso, a 51 year-old former fugitiv,e put ads on Craigslist for apartments for rent. The problem was, detectives say, Giso didn't own or manage the places.He allegedly gained access from an owner he befriended, and the owner did not know what that Giso was allegedly doing. Investigators say would-be renters paid Giso hundreds of dollars, then Giso vanished. He was arrested in Georgia three months ago.
Steve Fredericks, who paid Giso $650 towards an apartment and ended up with nothing, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "It's just a matter of time for him to get what's coming to him."
Giso's trial is scheduled start january 21st. He remains in the Pima County Jail, with bond set at $35,000.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators will stay on top of all major developments in this case.