I-Team: RI man never served prison sentence

Carlton Winsor booking photo from 1985. Photo courtesy of North Kingstown Police Department

A Rhode Island man never served a two-year prison sentence after being convicted of conspiracy to commit arson, the NBC 10 I-Team has learned.

Carlton Winsor, 74, who now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., was convicted on the conspiracy charge in 1988.

Then Superior Court Judge Joseph Rogers, who is now retired, sentenced Winsor to five years in prison, with two years to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions and three years suspended with probation, according to court records.

Winsor appealed the conviction and was allowed to stay free on bail because his wife at the time was seriously ill.

On March 14, 1990, the Rhode Island State Supreme Court denied the appeal and sent the case back to Superior Court.

However, there doesn't appear to be any record of a bench warrant being issued for Winsor's arrest.

Winsor told NBC 10 he never served the sentenced.

When he was asked why, Winsor said, "I appealed the conviction, but nobody ever told me I lost the appeal."

Winsor said he was going to contact his lawyer, Walter Stone, who is now a Superior Court judge.

A representative for the Rhode Island court system told the I-Team that when the state Supreme Court upholds a conviction and the defendant is free on bail, a court clerk is supposed to send a notice to the defendant. The notice directs the defendant to report to court and to be ordered to begin his sentence.

However, in Winsor's case, the notice was never given to the defendant.

According to the I-Team, a judge in Washington County court notified Winsor by mail to report to Rhode Island Aug. 2.