He was observed by loss prevention employees at the Wal-Mart store in Athens attempting in August 2011 to conceal various items from the store in his clothing, according to the information from the district attorney.
As Manuel attempted to leave the store without paying for the merchandise, he was confronted by three store employees but denied any wrongdoing and continued to try to exit the store.
Manuel testified in the hearing and asked that the judge place him on probation.
He blamed his actions on a drug problem, and he had been treated in several in-patient facilities for crack cocaine use.
In closing arguments, the prosecution asked that Manuel be sentenced to a prison term and argued to the court: “[T]his is a far cry from a probation case. The defendant is a threat to our community that has an extensive criminal history. Allowing him to be on our streets would put the people of Henderson County in jeopardy.”