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Indiana Man Released From Prison Decades Early

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VALPARAISO, Ind. (CBS) – A former Portage, Ind., man who was sentenced to 110 years in prison in 1985 will be set free Wednesday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Debra Dale reports, Paul Lucas, 56, was sentenced for three home burglaries – one from 1983 – and being a habitual offender. His earliest possible release date had been 2038, when he would be in his 80s.

But after a hearing on Monday, Porter County, Ind., Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford modified the sentence of Paul E. Lucas, 56, to 60 years.

His defense attorney said, “in his time, he has seen murderers come and go.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Debra Dale reports

But with good time credit, that will allow Lucas to leave prison and serve some years on probation to help him re-acclimate to life.

Bradford said during Monday’s hearing that since Lucas was sentenced, the Indiana General Assembly and higher courts have changed philosophy on incarceration, and although he is more traditional, Bradford has also changed.

“I think enough is enough, particularly with your testimony today and frankly, with these two letters of support,” Bradford said.

The letters came from two prison officials who not only said Lucas had changed from the angry young man that went into prison, but they went to him for haircuts.

Lucas began working as a prison barber in 1999, and because of outstanding job performance reviews, was asked to cut staff and female prisoners’ hair.

He was trusted around prison officials with the sharp objects of his trade, his defense attorney said.

The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

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