November 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Crook’s Defense Melts Like Cotton Candy

Compiled From Wire Services

There was no sweet ending for Wesley Shaffer, the diabetic burglar whose attorney failed to convince a jury on Tuesday that cotton candy made him insane.

“Nobody bought it,” said a woman juror, who asked not to be named. “Everything was kind of phony.”

The jury deliberated about an hour before finding Shaffer guilty of burglary with a firearm, possession of burglary tools, grand theft and carrying a concealed firearm.

Shaffer’s attorney, Richard Dedell, argued that Shaffer was insane when he broke into a Boca Raton home on April 7, 1995, stole jewelry and a camera then ran from a security guard.

Shaffer didn’t know he had diabetes and when he ate the two bags of cotton candy his wife bought the night before the burglary, Dedell said. The cotton candy spiked his blood sugar so high that Shaffer became psychotic, making him believe he was a master burglar, Dedell said.

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