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Man who stole ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" sentenced to time served

Sentencing Monday for man who stole ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz"
Sentencing Monday for man who stole ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" 01:14

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The man convicted of stealing the iconic ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" was sentenced 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, the 76-year-old Grand Rapids man was sentenced to time served, one year of supervised release and $23,000 in restitution to the Judy Garland Children's Museum. 

Prosecutors have recommended Martin to be sentenced to time served due to his poor health. 

"It took brains, heart, and courage to bring this case to a successful conclusion, and those are qualities our FBI partners have in spades," United States Attorney Mac Schneider said a press release. "This result is the product of determined efforts by FBI investigators. They secured the safe return of an iconic piece of Americana and, working together with our career prosecutors, provided a measure of justice in this case."  

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

"The Wizard of Oz" Ruby Red Slippers Viewing
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: "The Wizard of Oz" Ruby Red Slippers worn by Judy Garland in 1939 at the viewing at the Plaza Athenee on December 5, 2011 in New York City. John Lamparski

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

The ruby slippers

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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