A shoplifter in a Target store in Tampa, Florida cost a security guard his life. A recent New York Daily News story reported that the shoplifter was recently charged with third-degree murder and faces up to 30 years in prison. His criminal defense attorney will undoubtedly try his best to get him the minimum sentence possible, but with his client’s long rap sheet, it’s unlikely a judge will be lenient.

The shoplifting incident occurred in May 2011. The shoplifting suspect was attempting to flee the Target store with a cart filled with merchandise worth more than $1,000 when the 65-year-old security guard and another guard grabbed him. The two guards struggled with the suspect for several minutes before they were able to cuff him.

A security video showed the security guard, a former FBI agent, appearing to be wobbly and having difficulty catching his breath. He collapsed outside the store a short time later and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead of heart failure. Autopsy results revealed that the struggle with the suspect stopped his heart. According to his wife, he had a heart a condition. The suspect’s family told a local newspaper that the suspect was not a killer, but he was addicted to stealing.

This is a tragic tale of how an act of shoplifting can trigger a dangerous chain of events. Up until now, this man’s only crime was shoplifting, an offense he committed many times over. Now he faces punishment for a crime with much severe penalties and a much longer prison sentence.

Stealing $1,000 worth of items in Colorado is Class 4 felony, which carries a prison term of 2 to 6 years. Representation by a qualified a Colorado criminal defense attorney can ensure you are treated fairly according to state law and that you receive a fair trial. Your attorney will make sure you know your rights under the law and advise you of your defense options. Being a first-time offender may work better in your favor than being a habitual shoplifter. In any case, your attorney will do all he can to get the minimum sentence possible.