Burglary suspect gets 4 years in prison - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Burglary suspect gets 4 years in prison

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From the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office:

On Friday, August 16, 2013, an Horry County jury convicted James Hagan of Burglary in the Second Degree (Non-Violent), an offense that carries up to ten (10) years in prison. Following the jury's verdict of guilty, Judge Roger L. Couch of Spartanburg sentenced Hagan to six (6) years in prison suspended to the service of four (4) years in prison and two (2) years of probation to follow. Hagan had prior convictions for Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, Attempted Arson Second Degree, Felony Larceny, Possession of a Schedule I-V Drug, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, and Burglary in the Second Degree. Hagan was on probation for the prior Burglary conviction when he committed this Burglary on August 16, 2012.

The offense an Horry County jury found Hagan guilty of stemmed from an incident (exactly one year before the jury's verdict) where Hagan and his co-defendant, Charles Hagan, Jr.—James Hagan's uncle—broke into the home of Dana Enzor with the intent to commit a crime. While in the process of the burglary, Ms. Enzor's son, Zach Elliot, came home for lunch and saw Charles Hagan sitting in a white Ford Taurus. He asked Charles Hagan why he was at his house, and then he heard someone run out the back door. Charles Hagan took off down the road. The back door had been forcibly broken into and a jewelry box was set by the back door. Two independent witnesses less than half a mile from the victim's home were able to identify a man matching James Hagan's description and saw him hop into a white Ford Taurus. Later, Charles Hagan, admitted to the burglary and admitted that James Hagan was the person inside and that Charles Hagan was acting as the lookout and driver. Charles Hagan pled guilty to the charges in March 2013 and testified at trial against his nephew—James Hagan. He was not happy about testifying because of the tension he had been getting from his family, but he told the truth in court under unpleasant circumstances. Additionally, James Hagan had already pled guilty in Magistrate Court to being present at the victim's address at the time and date of the burglary and to being the person who broke the back door. The evidence was simply overwhelming. However, James Hagan did present a defense. He put up two witnesses—his wife and his wife's roommate. Both had previously pled guilty to Burglary and Grand Larceny, but they both stated that James Hagan was working with them on that day. James Hagan's witnesses were contradicted by the evidence as well as their two bosses' testimony.

Assistant Solicitor Joshua Holford and Assistant Public Defender Melinda Knowles picked the jury on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, and Judge Couch heard pre-trial motions that afternoon.  The trial began Thursday morning and finished Friday at lunchtime. The jury deliberated for a short period of time and came back with a verdict of Guilty.

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