By Jason A. Smith
Two men are suspected of breaking into a Hampton home and stealing lawn equipment.
The pair reportedly claimed that the former owner of the house, gave them permission to be there. However, the former owner reportedly denied the assertion.
Mitchell Dean Matheny, 22, of Jonesboro, appeared in Magistrate Court Thursday, represented by the Public Defender's Office, according to court records. Judge Robert Godwin bound Matheny's case over to Superior Court, where bond will be set later, court records show.
Sedrick Marshawn Williams, 20, of Hampton, appeared in court Monday, also represented by the Public Defender's Office. Judge Godwin set Williams' bond at $30,000, and bound his case over to Superior Court.
Matheny and Williams are each charged with burglary. Williams is also charged with simple battery.
The report states that Williams and Matheny took a push lawn mower, a DeWalt cordless screwdriver, a hand sander, a radio/compact-disc player combination, a floor fan and a 22-inch electric hedger from the victim's home. The total estimated value of the items is $530.
Police were notified of the break-in around 8 a.m., Sept. 26, at a home on West James Circle in Hampton, according to a Henry County Police report by Officer Dow Culberson.
The victim, the report states, came home to find Matheny standing in her garage. When she asked Matheny why he was there, he told the victim, "Billy White (the former homeowner) told me I could come and get what I wanted."
"[The victim] advised that she then walked to the back of the residence, and saw a white car parked in the back yard with the trunk open," Culberson wrote. "She then saw [Williams] walking out of the back door of the residence with some items."
The woman reportedly told Williams she was going to call the police, and he began to put the items back inside the home. The police report states that, as the victim was walking toward the white car, Williams began to run toward her.
"[He] then knocked her to the side with his shoulder, and closed the trunk of the vehicle," Culberson added. "[Williams] then got into the vehicle and yelled to [Matheny] to get in the car."
The victim opened the rear door of the suspects' vehicle, and grabbed her weedeater and a trash can from the back of the car. The alleged burglars then left the scene, Culberson wrote.
Police conducted a canvas of the area surrounding the burglary location. An officer, wrote Culberson, spoke with a witness who reported seeing a red Mitsubishi Galant leaving the victim's home, shortly after the alleged break-in.
The Galant, wrote Culberson, was found around 10 a.m., at Williams' home. Williams was then questioned about the burglary, according to the officer.
Culberson wrote that Williams admitted to being at the victim's home, and reiterated his claim, of Bill White allowing him to take items from the residence.
"I asked Mr. Williams if he would provide ... information for [Matheny], and he refused," added the officer. "I asked Mr. Williams if he would provide a written statement, of his account of what occurred, and he again refused."
Williams was then placed under arrest, and taken to the Henry County Jail. Further investigation, Officer Culberson wrote, revealed that White, the former homeowner, had "never given authority" to the alleged burglars, to go to the house or take the items.
An arrest warrant was issued for Matheny Sept. 27. He was apprehended by a Henry County Sheriff's deputy Wednesday, and taken to the Henry County Jail, according to Sheriff's Maj. Jeff Norman.
Public Defender Gary Bowman could not be reached for comment.