Duke

Duke

Homeless man sentenced to four years in prison for burglary, theft

By Steven Mross
This article was published October 12, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

A reportedly homeless man was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty in Garland County Circuit Court to burglarizing a local business and driving a stolen vehicle earlier this year.

Terry Edwin Duke, 52, who has remained in custody on zero bond since his arrest May 26, pleaded guilty to commercial burglary and theft by receiving more than $1,000 and was sentenced to four years on each count to run concurrently with each other and with the revocation of his suspended sentence from a previous conviction.

According to the affidavit, on May 19, the manager of Sears Hometown Store, 4905 Highway 7 north, filed a report with Garland County sheriff's investigators after discovering the glass front door of his business had been broken out with a rock, which was lying inside.

Security video showed a dark-colored Chrysler 300 pull up and a white male throwing the rock through the glass and entering the store. The suspect then removed several tools before leaving. Patrol units were alerted to look for the suspect vehicle.

On May 26, Sgt. Greg Kellar spotted a blue Chrysler 300 driven by a white male in the 3200 block of Central Avenue and saw it pull into O'Reilly's Auto Parts, 3220 Central, and the man entered. Kellar located the man, identified as Duke, inside and a computer check revealed he had several warrants for his arrest and the Chrysler had been reported stolen out of North Little Rock.

On May 30, investigator Jennifer Tonseth compared Duke's booking photo to the security video from the Sears burglary and confirmed it was the same person.

• A local man who fled the scene of an injury accident early this year was sentenced to six years' probation after pleading guilty Tuesday in circuit court.

Jared Neal Cockrell, 38, pleaded guilty to a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death and in addition to probation was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $420 in court costs and $12,745 in restitution to the victim.

According to the affidavit, on Feb. 2, around 1 p.m., Hot Springs police Cpl. John Tinney responded to a hit-and-run wreck at Higdon Ferry Road and Vineyard Street and made contact with the driver of a gray Toyota who stated he was southbound on Higdon when a silver Ford pickup ran the stop sign at Vineyard and collided with his vehicle.

He said the pickup left the scene, but a witness, 44, followed the pickup until it got to the area of Greenwood Cemetery where he was able to convince the driver, identified as Cockrell, to return to the scene.

Tinney spoke with Cockrell, who stated he left because he was worried his pickup would be impounded and he wanted to get his tools home. It was later determined Cockrell's driver's license was suspended and he had been previously arrested seven times for driving on a suspended license since 2008. He had no proof of insurance or registration on him.

Tinney had called for LifeNet after noticing the driver of the Toyota had swelling on the left side of his head. He noted the man seemed to be getting worse and was complaining of pain to his head and hip so he told LifeNet to "step it up." They arrived and transported the man to CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs.

The witness told Tinney Cockrell never stopped to check on the victim after the collision and had run several stop signs while he was following him before he finally stopped near the cemetery.

Cockrell was taken into custody and later released on $3,000 bond.

Local on 10/12/2017
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