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January 1, 2005

Two more admit to burglary of deaf man's Conway home

From: Arkansas Democrat Gazette, AR - Jan 1, 2005


Posted on Saturday, January 1, 2005


CONWAY — Two more defendants accused of burglarizing the apartment of a deaf Conway man, who police said was beaten during the crime, changed their pleas from innocent to guilty Thursday.

As a result, trials are pending for only two of the original five defendants.

Pleading guilty Thursday in Faulkner County Circuit Court were Crystal Barrett, 25, of Clinton and James Adams, 22, of Conway. Laura Lafleur, 23, of Conway changed her plea to guilty Tuesday.

All were negotiated agreements reached with the prosecuting attorney's office. All three people were charged with robbery, residential burglary and theft of property in the June 27 crime.

Circuit Judge Linda Collier sentenced Barrett to six years in prison and $3,160 in restitution to the victim, Scottie Graves, 37. Collier sentenced Adams to seven years in prison and $3,160 in restitution.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stephan Hawks said Wednesday that he had offered negotiated pleas to all five defendants. Two of them — David Adams, 18, and Steven Adams, 21, both of Conway — did not take him up on the offer Thursday. The judge postponed their cases; a pretrial date of March 30 and a trial date of April 27 was set for each man.

An emotional Barrett took the stand first Thursday. She said she understood the ramifications of a guilty plea. At times she appeared on the verge of tears, so the court reporter handed her a tissue.

In acknowledging the crime, Barrett told the judge, "The guy opened the door and... he got beat up, and things were taken."

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Marcus Vaden asked Barrett if Steven Adams took part in the crime. She said he did not.

Hawks said Thursday that Lafleur had received a tougher prison sentence, 10 years, because of her past record.

He said the prosecution would have the right to call any of those who pleaded guilty to testify against the other defendants if needed.

Four of the five defendants lived in the same apartment complex as Graves.

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