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Posted: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

Notice to home burglars: Don’t mess with Hank Aaron

By Steve Visser

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A defendant received an exceedingly rare in Fulton County 50-year sentence Monday for burglarizing a home.

The home? Atlanta hero and baseball great Hank Aaron’s.

Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua sentenced 24-year-old Isiah Slaton to eight years to serve in prison and 42 years on probation for stealing, among other objects, Aaron’s baseball rings destined for the Hall of Fame.

In his victim impact statement, Aaron told how he felt “violated” by the crime and how the items that were stolen from him were simply “priceless.”

Slaton pleaded guilty Monday to burglary and theft on the eve of a trial with two other men with whom he was indicted for allegedly ransacking the Aaron house on July 14, 2013. The loot also included Aaron’s two BMWs and considerable jewelry, District Attorney Paul Howard announced in a news release.

Hank and Billye Aaron were in New York for the All-Star Game when burglars disabled the alarm system and entered their southwest Atlanta home. Aaron missed a call from his alarm company and the next day asked a neighbor to investigate. The neighbor saw the broken window and called police.

The thieves had disabled the alarm system, but they were unable to disengage the BMWs’ “LoJack” systems and dumped one of the cars about a mile from the home and the other was found in Cobb County. Investigators were able to lift fingerprints from at least one car.

Investigators made an arrest within three weeks of the break-in.

On Tuesday, jury selection begins in the trial of Amir Coleman, one of the other men accused of the burglary. The case against the third man, Edward Buford, is also still pending.

One of Howard’s top prosecutors, Deputy District Attorney Shondeana Morris — who has persuaded a Fulton jury to award a rare death penalty previously — is overseeing the case.

As an Atlanta Brave, Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record of 714 career home runs on April 8, 1974. He hit his 755th and final home run on July 20, 1976, a home run record that stood for almost three decades.

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