Hawkins school burglary suspect takes plea deal

Jeff Bobo • Feb 21, 2013 at 3:55 AM

CHURCH HILL — James Blake McFarland, 25, 186 Jones Road, Church Hill, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Hawkins County Session Court to reduced charges in connection with a burglary at Carters Valley Elementary School on Jan. 22.

McFarland was originally charged with felony burglary, but that was reduced to Class A misdemeanor aggravated criminal trespassing. He also pleaded guilty to the original charges of theft under 500, and vandalism.

Police said a witness saw McFarland walking near the school around the time of the burglary wearing clothes that matched a person caught on school surveillance video. The video wasn’t able to positively identify the burglar, however.

McFarland was sentenced to 90 days in jail, two years supervised probation, $300 in fines and costs, $500 restitution to the school, and 96 hours of community service.

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