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Local News in Brief : ‘Gypsy’ Is Given No Break on Prison Term

A burglar whose prison term was re-evaluated because of a probation report that said he operated with “other weak-minded scheming Gypsies” has been resentenced to state prison for the same five-year, four-month term.

Walter Larson, 37, of Montebello, was resentenced to the same amount of prison time that he previously received for stealing $130 during burglaries at four Long Beach homes in 1984.

Long Beach Superior Court Judge Richard Charvet earlier this year ordered the resentencing after Larson and his attorney objected to probation officer Will Manson’s report, which contained remarks biased against Gypsies.

“Realistically, not much is known about the defendant, other than he is a Gypsy who undoubtedly has been living on the fringes of the law for some time,” the report stated.

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Manson’s report motivated the U.S. Roman (Gypsy) Council, a group fighting prejudice against Gypsies, to come to Larson’s aid.

Charvet criticized the previous probation report as containing “certain unwarranted and irrelevant allegations” but was careful to state that he was not influenced by the report.

Larson will begin serving the state prison term after completing a three-year federal sentence for bribery.


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