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Victim speaks in defense of woman who broke into house

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Victim speaks in defense of woman who broke into house

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Defendant receives 20 years on probation



It is not common for the victim of a crime to speak compassionately about the person who broke into her house and stole her belongings, but that is exactly what took place in Jones County Superior Court earlier this month. Sherry Lee Dugger was in court Aug. 9 to enter a guilty plea to the crime of burglary in the first degree. She received a sentence of 20 years with 180 days to serve and ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution.

After the sentence was pronounced by Chief Superior Court Judge William Prior, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Herndon told the court the victim of the crime was in the courtroom and wished to speak.

Prior agreed to allow her to speak, but instead of disparaging the defendant, the victim spoke well of Dugger.

“She has had life issues with drugs, but when she is sober, she is an intelligent and trustworthy person. I hope she follows rehab,” she said.

Prior thanked the victim for her comments and agreed with the problems caused by drugs.

“It’s a huge problem everywhere, including Jones County,” he said.

Dugger was one of five suspects who were arrested for the residential burglary that took place on Plantation Club Drive April 16. Dugger, 56, was arrested April 19 and charged with felony burglary in the first degree.

Mary Ann Jenkins, 48, and Justin Lloyd Jenkins, 26, were arrested April 24 and each charged with burglary. The last two co-defendants – Amanda Leigh Carver, 43, and Kevin Jerome Arnold, 41 – were arrested April 27, and charged with being a party to a crime.

A report of the burglary by Deputy Travis Walker stated he responded to the report of a burglary on Plantation Drive at 9 a.m. April 16. He said, when he arrived, he took pictures of tracks in the back of the house and vegetable garden. He said the rear door appeared to have been pried open.

Items reported missing by the victim of the burglary were guns, currency, televisions and jewelry. The victim also gave the deputy Dugger’s name as a person of interest in the burglary.

Apparently Dugger called the victim before the burglary and found out no one would be at home. Walker was familiar with the suspect from a previous traffic stop and he found out through conversations with known associates that she had touted knowledge of valuables in the victim’s home.

He said a message from Dugger on one of the associates’ phone stated she would be “rolling” on the date of the robbery.

Walker said the case was turned over to investigator John Simmons.