East Palo Alto man sentenced for doggy-door burglary


An East Palo Alto man with 15 prior felony convictions was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Tuesday for burglary, including an incident where he entered a home through a pet door, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's office.

James Grady, 60, was previously serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for a prior 2003 commercial burglary. But he was released from prison over the district attorney's objection in 2013 under Proposition 36, which reduced certain provisions under the Three Strikes Law. Prop 36 authorizes re-sentencing for nonviolent offenders currently serving life sentences whose crimes are not serious and if a judge determines that re-sentencing does not pose unreasonable risk to public safety.

Grady had 15 prior felony convictions, 11 of which are strike convictions. He entered a home in Atherton through an unlocked door on Jan. 20, 2014, and was confronted by the resident, but Grady fled on a bicycle. Responding police pursued Grady in a lengthy chase through Atherton and Menlo Park, including jumping fences and going through backyards. Police called off the search after several hours.

During the search Grady burglarized another home in Menlo Park by entering through the doggy door, according to the DA. He hid in the home and drank tequila and beer. Grady also stole $62,000 worth of jewelry and other property from the home.

Police were able to identify him in that burglary from DNA and fingerprints left on the alcohol bottles. While fleeing officers after the first incident, he abandoned his jean jacket containing his cellphone and Veterans Administration identification card. Police arrested Grady weeks later in Oakland. The victim of the first burglary identified him, according to the DA.

Grady pleaded no contest on Jan. 27 to one count of residential burglary with special allegations and to having two prior felony strikes. He was sentenced to 25 years to life with 407 days for credit served. He will appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on Wednesday for a restitution hearing.

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8 people like this
Posted by Jason
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Love our legal system. It takes 12 "strike-worthy" felonies to trigger the three strikes law?

5 people like this
Posted by enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 12, 2015 at 10:54 am

Our criminal "Justice" system seems to bring relief only to the perpetrators, not the victims.

9 people like this
Posted by Incredulous
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

This guy has 12 strike-worhty offenses and skates, other folks get throw into the clinker for 3 marijuana busts. Something's off.

2 people like this
Posted by Pearl
a resident of another community
on Mar 14, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Pearl is a registered user.

Our criminal justice system is a colossal farce. Most crimes are plea-bargained behind closed doors. This guy obviously falls into the recidivist category. And, we taxpayers are footing the bill. Next time you vote for a judge or a district attorney, do your homework first. You will get what you vote for if you’re not paying attention.

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