Shoplifter gets five year prison sentence for cutting security agent

Carson City NV. Oct. 23, 2007

A 29-year-old Carson City man was sentenced Monday to five years in Nevada State Prison after he cut a Wal-Mart security guard with a razor blade while trying to steal video equipment.Christopher Kokinakis apologized Monday to the 22-year-old victim who attended the Douglas District Court sentencing.“

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this. I sit every day and every night thinking about it,” he said. “I caused a lot of pain to a lot of people. I wouldn’t try to hurt somebody on purpose.”Kokinakis, who has no prior criminal record, asked Judge Michael Gibbons for probation.Gibbons said although Kokinakis was remorseful, the consequences of his actions were too severe to merit probation.“The court has to look at the nature of the offense,” Gibbons said. “It was planned and resulted in an injury — probably permanent. It certainly changed his (the victim’s life).”According to reports, Kokinakis was ob­served Aug. 21 by Wal-Mart personnel in the electronics department taking two items valued at $150. He reportedly removed the packaging from the items and stuffed them down his pants.He left the store without paying and was confronted by store security.

Deputies said Kokinakis reportedly struck one guard in the head as he tried to flee.More help was summoned as Kokinakis became more combative. He removed his shirt, challenged the six to a fight, and cut the victim with a razor blade before he was wrestled to the ground.Prosecutor Tom Gregory said the security officers attempted to defuse the situation by telling Kokinakis to drop the items and leave the store without any consequences.He said the Kokinakis cut a major artery in the victim’s wrist which required surgery that day. “He (the victim) wanted a law enforcement career. He doesn’t know if that will happen with the injury,” Gregory said.

Lawyer Tod Young said Kokinakis was struggling financially when the incident happened. He said his client worked six years for the postal service before moving to Nevada.He said Kokinakis had no intention of hurting anyone.“An attempt to trip the defendant failed,” Young said. “When he (the victim) reached for the defendant, he felt a sharp pain.”He said Kokinakis had a blade for a small utility knife which he used to open the packages. Kokinakis’ pants had no pockets, so he carried the blade in his hand, Young said.“This is tragic in the sense that it’s terrible somebody got cut,” Young said. “It’s tragic that Chris got cut and that he will have to deal with this serious, serious charge the rest of his life. He is extremely apologetic and extremely remorseful. I have watched him cry over this — what he’s done to someone else’s future and what he’s done to his own life.”Kokinakis must serve a minimum of 24 months before he is eligible for parole. He was given credit for 63 days served in Douglas County Jail.“Prison sounds horrible and right now it is horrible,” Gibbons said. “You’ve got to make the most of it and turn your life around.”

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