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Man who stole ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” will be sentenced Monday

By Beret Leone, Anthony Bettin

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    GRAND RAPIDS, Minnesota (WCCO) — The man convicted of stealing the iconic ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” will learn his fate Monday.

Stealing the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” was “one last score” for aging reformed mobster Terry Jon Martin, his attorneys said in a court filing earlier this month.

On Monday, he’ll learn his punishment for the crime. Prosecutors have recommended he’s sentenced to time served due to his poor health.

Martin stole the ruby slippers in 2005 and authorities recovered them in 2018, but the 76-year-old was not charged with stealing them until last year.

He pleaded guilty in October to using a hammer to smash a glass door to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids and a display case to take the slippers.

Martin’s lawyers say he hadn’t committed a crime for years, but then an old mob associate led him to believe the shoes were adorned with real jewels.

Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Martin is currently in hospice care with advanced COPD and likely has less than six months to live.

The shoes were owned by collector Michael Shaw and on loan to the Judy Garland Museum when they were stolen. The FBI recovered them during a sting operation in 2018 and returned them to Shaw. Shaw told investigators at the time that the slippers were as “pristine” as they were before the theft.

Researchers at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., where one of four existing pairs is on display, helped the FBI authenticate them. The pair was insured for $1 million.

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