A man who wrecked a $300,000 sports car owned by Grammy-winning hip-hop star Missy Elliott was sentenced in Richmond, Va., to three years in jail for the late-night spin. “This is not a typical unauthorized-use case by any means, your honor,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Huberman told the judge before Joseph Thomas Johnson was sentenced Wednesday.
Johnson, 34, was convicted Oct. 9 of driving the Lamborghini Diablo away from the garage where it was stored. “He takes a vehicle that is worth more than most houses and totals it,” Huberman said, arguing for a sentence longer than the 19 months suggested by state guidelines.
Judge George F. Tidey was convinced, and handed down Johnson the longer sentence. He also ordered $170,000 in restitution for the car and $1,975 for curb repairs at the wreck site.
The plum-colored Italian sports car was being shipped from California to Elliott’s home in Virginia Beach. It was parked for safety inside a building in suburban Richmond until the last leg of its trip when Johnson took it for a drive on Oct. 9, 2001.
Three miles from the garage, Johnson lost control of the 550-horsepower, low-slung vehicle. It crashed into a traffic sign, a tree, and a couple of curbs.
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