UnNews:Prima donna convict demands better prison sentence

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27 August 2006

Lawyer for O'Neal, Andy Rosenblatt at a press conference at his farm.

In a press conference today, recent convict Terrence O'Neal expressed through his lawyer disappointment at the 15-year prison sentence recently handed down for his role in a Jacksonville, Florida homicide last February.

"Terrence was instrumental in the killing of Mick Vanderson," O'Neal's lawyer, Andy Rosenblatt, said to the press today. "We were both offended at the 15-year sentence for aggravated assault and battery. You look at guys who don't do half the things my client did, and they're getting 30, 40, 50 years. It was bad enough that the murder charge itself was dropped, but this is just insulting."

The media was decidedly skeptical.

"Anybody who thinks O'Neal should get more than 15 years is insane," wrote Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser. "Yeah, he's a talented criminal, but come on. All he did was rough the guy up with a pipe. He died of stab wounds, for goodness' sake."

O'Neal was reportedly in strained relations with fellow criminal Darren McDonnell, who was given a life sentence for homicide in the case last week.

"We do feel that Mr. McDonnell has taken an unfair share of the credit for the murder," Rosenblatt said. "Even if it was ultimately his knife that did Mr. Vanderson in, they never would have gotten to that point if Terrence wasn't there, wailing away with a lead pipe."

O'Neal was healing from a broken wrist acquired a few months earlier during a break-in at a Tampa convenience store at the time of the murder, and it was unsure if he was even in the condition where he'd be able to commit a murder.

"My client fought through injury, personal hardship, and other stressful situations to make this homicide happen," Rosenblatt said, "and he is not getting what he has earned in this case."

Earlier in his career, O'Neal got a five-year sentence for a carjacking, impressive for a crime in which no severe injuries occurred. O'Neal has said that he hoped this murder would make him a star on the level of Tookie Williams. Upon the news of this sentence, he was determined to get a better deal elsewhere.

"When parole comes around in five years --which is also ridiculous-- you can bet we're going to get out of here and look for a prison system which accepts Terrence for the homicidal superstar he is," Rosenblatt stated. "Even if he has to kill twenty more people, he's going to get the respect he deserves."