‘Sovereign citizen’ burglar sentenced to 10 years in prison

A man already serving a six-month jail term for refusing to answer a judge’s questions during his trial last month was sentenced Monday (April 4) to 10 years in prison for burglarizing a Metairie widow’s home and then was caught the same day with her stolen jewelry.

Sean Stock, who turned 29 years old on Monday, was convicted of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and possession of stolen things on March 23. Among the items he stole was the engagement ring and wedding band that belonged to her husband, who died on Good Friday of 2014, according to trial testimony.

Stock broke into the woman’s home on 47th Street near South Causeway Boulevard during the weekend of June 20, 2015.

Stock was familiar with the home because he previously was hired to perform odd jobs there, including removing a tree, according to testimony. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office focused on him as a suspect after the homeowner overheard deputies mention Stock’s name and she recalled having hired him to do the work, she testified.

After rejecting two requests to toss out the verdicts and hearing a lengthy and emotional defense plea for lenience for the father of a 4-year-old boy, Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Stock to 10 years on each count. She ran the sentences concurrently.

As his trial was beginning, Stock, who had a public defender appointed to his case, announced he wanted to act has his own attorney in disclosing an affiliation with the sovereign citizens movement, whose members refuse to recognize laws or pay taxes.

As the judge questioned him in connection with his request, Stock responded only that he was the attorney for his own corporation, an assertion indicative of the sovereign citizens movement. His non-responsiveness led Judge Kovach to find him in contempt of court and sentence him a six-month jail term.

Just before she announced her sentence for the convictions on Monday, Stock apologized for his courtroom disturbance. “I look back,” he said. “I was rude. I do want to apologize for that.”

Judge Kovach said she planned to run the 6-month jail term consecutively to the sentencings but opted to run it concurrently in light of his apology.

Stock’s punishment could be increased because of his 2004 conviction of carjacking, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. Prosecutors are seeking a sentencing enhancement under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, meaning his sentence for the burglary could increase to 24 years.

Assistant District Attorneys Douglas Rushton and Andrew DeCoste prosecuted the case.

blue bar 2