published Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Dalton man guilty in burglary, escape

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A Dalton man pleaded guilty this morning to stealing copper wire and a heater from a home and then escaping from jail.

Pearl Smith Jr. stopped his trial this morning on burglary and escape charges and pleaded guilty, authorities said. Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris sentenced Smith to 15 years in prison and by five years on probation.

Smith, who was on parole on a burglary charge, was arrested in August 2011 after he entered a home in the Antioch community and stole copper wire and a heater, Conasauga District Attorney Bert Poston in a news release. He sold the items, but they were recovered, Poston said.

Smith was in jail awaiting trial in January and was cleaning windows near the front of the jail when he ran away, Poston said. Smith was found wearing a trash bag after taking off his inmate uniform.

As part of Smith’s probation, he was required to pay more than $2,000 in restitution, perform community service work and seek alcohol and drug abuse counseling.

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