18-year mystery solved as man pleads guilty to stealing ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers from museum | EUROtoday

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A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty to stealing the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore within the “The Wizard of Oz” from a museum in 2005.

Terry Jon Martin, 76, admitted to stealing the enduring footwear from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005. The footwear had been recovered by the FBI in 2018.

He pleaded guilty to one rely of theft of main paintings.

“At the time of theft, the slippers were ensured for $1 million but current fair market appraisal value the slippers at $3.5 million,” in accordance to the discharge by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota.

These ruby slippers, the discharge said, “are one of the four remaining pairs and are widely viewed as among the most recognizable memorabilia in American film history.”

Mr Martin beforehand pleaded not guilty in June, however he has since determined to change his plea and entered right into a plea deal.

In federal courtroom, he stated he used a hammer to smash each the glass of the museum door and the show case to take the enduring footwear.

Mr Martin additionally stated that he was underneath the impression that the slippers contained actual rubies, as he had deliberate to promote the gems. Upon his try, a fence informed him the rubies had been glass, so he stated he gave away the slippers — but it surely’s unclear to whom he gave them.

“Terry has no idea where they were and how they were recovered,” Martin’s lawyer, Dane DeKrey defined. “His involvement was that two-day period in 2005.”

The FBI has by no means unveiled the way it discovered the slippers, conserving an aura of mystery surrounding the 1939 movie’s magical footwear.

Both Mr DeKrey and the federal prosecutor advisable that Mr Martin not face any time behind bars, due to his age and poor well being, as he has superior power obstructive pulmonary illness.

“He’s basically slowly suffocating to death,” his lawyer stated.

Minnesota’s chief federal decide ordered a presentence investigation. He stated the sentencing date is probably going to be scheduled for two.5 months from Friday.