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'Hyde Park Tire Slasher' sentenced to 10 years

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TWC News: 'Hyde Park Tire Slasher' sentenced to 10 years
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The homeless man accused of slashing tires on hundreds of cars in the Hyde Park neighborhood was found guilty by a jury Wednesday.

A Travis County jury convicted Tommy Joe Kelly on one count of unlawful use of a criminal instrument and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

Austin police say neighbors saw Kelly near the slashed cars before and after the crimes, but never actually saw him do it.

Kelly never admitted to slashing the tires of at least 391 cars in Hyde Park over the past four years, but he did confirm he was arrested at least twice in the past for slashing tires in the same area with a knife.

When asked about it on the stand, Kelly said, "Ok, I'm going to tell you the truth on this one. It doesn't sound right, but it is. I have had hemorrhoids at that time, super duper bad."

Kelly told jurors he was hoping to go to jail because that's the only place he can get medical treatment.

"You stabbed somebody's tires in Hyde Par. You don't know who they are, but you picked this person out because you need relief from your hemorrhoids," a prosecution attorney said.

"True," Kelly replied.

Kelly chose to represent himself during the trial. He said he plans to appeal the decision.

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