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Man sentenced in 2017 Coffee Co. burglary

Coffee County
Coffee County(WALB)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 10:18 PM EST
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DOUGLAS, Ga. (WALB) - On Thursday, a Coffee County jury convicted a man for a 2017 burglary, according to Ian Sansot, the assistant district attorney for the Waycross Judicial Circuit.

Antonio Lopez Smith was convicted for a residential burglary that happened on April 6, 2017. A press release said the evidence presented at trial showed that a nearby pastor spotted Smith removing a refrigerator from a residence with a dolly. The pastor knew the owner of the home, contacted her and called law enforcement, according to a press release.

Smith was taken into custody and officers photographed the trail left by the dolly from the back of the residence as well as the damage to the window in the door which Smith used to gain entry. Officers also recovered an antique baby bed Smith removed from the home.

The release said the morning of trial, Smith opted for his right to represent himself and dismissed his attorneys. After testifying on his own behalf that he was there to tell the truth and that he “does not steal,” Assistant District Attorney John Rumker showed copies of Smith’s prior convictions for both forgery in the first degree and theft by taking.

After the jury’s conviction, and after hearing additional evidence of another prior burglary conviction, Judge Andy Spivey sentenced Smith to 20 years with the first 10 years to be served in prison.

District Attorney George Barnhill thanks the work of Officer Mason Cater, the Douglas Police Department, and all other officers and witnesses whose work and testimony was instrumental in prosecuting the case.

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