Jun 20, 2014 9:17 PM by Matthew Schwartz
TUCSON - Leonard Giso declined to make a statement, then showed no emotion after Pima County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Lee sentenced him to 18 and a half years in prison. Before his trial, Giso turned down a plea deal that would've given him a maximum of 12 and a half years.
One of Giso's victims, Stephen Fredricks, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, "He doesn't really have a conscience between right or wrong, he just has that pattern of burning people all his adult life."
It took a jury barely an hour last month to find Giso guilty of four felonies, two each for fraud and forgery. The former fugitive advertised Tucson apartments for rent on Craigslist, but didn't own or rent them; he had gained access through an unwitting friend.
Giso took would-be renters security deposits and first months rent, and had them sign bogus leases he had drawn up. He vanished last spring before Pima County Deputies could find him. He was caught near Atlanta in September.
Judge Lee also ordered Giso to re-pay the four victims, including $1450.00 to Fredricks.
The News 4 Tucson Investigators asked Fredericks, "Are you satisfied with the 18 and a half year sentence?" He said, "I am. I was planning on about 15 years, 15 to 20. So this is good."
We asked another victim, Jason Colehour, "If you could talk to Leonard Giso, what would you say?" Colehour replied, "He got his just desserts."
If he loses an appeal, Leonard Giso would serve almost 16 years before he's eligible for parole, at which time he would be 68 years-old.
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