Once hailed as a financial whiz as recently as four years ago, the disgraced former Mets and Phillies star was sentenced to three years in a California prison on Monday afternoon on charges of grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement during the attempted leasing of three automobiles. Dykstra had originally been charged with 25 counts, but prosecutors dropped 21 of them when he agreed to plead no contest back in October.
Dykstra, however, maintains that he was only being prosecuted because of his celebrity. (The 49-year-old also tried to withdraw his plea after submitting it, but his request was denied.)
In a rambling and impassioned plea for probation, Dykstra said he has tried to make amends for his past transgressions and said he would be cleared of any wrongdoing had his motion to withdraw his plea been granted.
"I'm doing everything in my power to be a better person," he said.
Dykstra, wearing a gray suit with a blue shirt, was immediately remanded to custody as he walked into the court's back room, hands in his pockets. Dykstra has earned nearly a year's worth of credit toward his sentence for time already served.
That he's already logged some time in prison served is the good news.
So, too, is the fact that he was granted permission to travel to Florida for his teammate Gary Carter's memorial service last month.
The bad news is that he's still scheduled to stand trial on federal bankruptcy charges this summer because it seems that the government doesn't really like it when you sell off your remaining assets — including your 1986 World Series ring — without the court's permission.
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- Lenny Dykstra