A Windsor man has used up two “serious” strikes and will serve a 10-year prison term after pleading guilty, twice this week.
Clarence Ray Taylor, 38, of Voigtland Road in Windsor, pleaded guilty on Wednesday and then again on Thursday to two unrelated violent burglary charges. The confessions leave him one more conviction away from a life sentence for crime deemed “serious” by statute.
Circuit Court Judge Doyet A. “Jack” Early handed down two 10 year sentences to be served concurrently.
Thursday’s plea was for a June 2012 burglary at TNT fireworks on Augusta Road in Langley.
According to testimony, the victim in the case owns a strip mall unit, which acts as a large storage facility to house fireworks. A witness had seen people loading items into a vehicle backed-up to the building and notified police, according to testimony.
The burglary Taylor pleaded guilty to on Wednesday was an Aiken home invasion. Because the crimes were not connected geographically – one was committed in Langley and the other in Aiken; nor by time – the incidents were months apart, they are two separate cases. Most often, someone will plead to multiple crimes, if they are connected, at one time.
As a “serious” crime, the defendant must serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence.
Judge rejects woman’s burglary plea
A woman set to plead guilty to crimes related to copper theft had her plea rejected by the judge Thursday, as she denied any knowledge of the crime her brothers and a friend had just committed.
Bertha Mae Logan, 43, of Ridge Spring, is facing charges of third-degree burglary and injury to real property to obtain nonferrous metals. She was to plead guilty to the copper theft crime.
“I didn’t steal any copper. I came to pick them up,” Logan said. “I was going to Batesburg and my brother asked if I could drop them off.”
In court, Logan said that she dropped off the three men at a rural site before heading to pick up food for Thanksgiving dinner from Sheely’s Barbecue. On her way back, she got a call from her brothers asking for a ride home. She picked them up, started to drive, but was quickly stopped by law enforcement.
“Police stopped me. I was asked to get out of the car and they said, ‘The guys in your ride just got out of a chicken house stealing copper,’” Logan said.
Logan told Judge Early that she had no idea what her two brothers and the other man were doing.
On hearing this, Early said he could not accept the plea.
In court, the prosecutor noted that Logan “has by far the smallest (criminal) record of the group.”