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Man pleads guilty to Sylva break-ins

Man pleads guilty to Sylva break-ins

A man faces a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty Wednesday in Jackson County to a string of break-ins and thefts in Sylva, as well as to assaulting and injuring an officer with Cherokee Police Department. Sylva police handled the investigation.

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said Edward Lee Smith, 36, pleaded guilty to nine felony charges in Superior Court. The District Attorney’s Office stipulated Smith plead to at least one felony charge per each victim.
The charges are:
• Three counts larceny.
• Two counts breaking and entering of motor vehicle.
• Three counts breaking and entering.
• Assault on law enforcement officer/physical injury. 

The officer suffered a cut on his finger and bruises on his arm when Smith resisted arrest on Sept. 13, 2019, in Cherokee.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Bradley B. Letts sentenced Smith to three consecutive prison sentences of 10 to 21 months, as well as a suspended sentence of 10 to 21 months. He must pay court fees. Smith received credit for 293 days of pre-trial confinement.

In addition to active prison time, Judge Letts ordered Smith pay hefty restitution fees, totaling $12,100 to victims for damages. Smith’s lengthy crime spree started July 26, 2019, and ended Jan. 3. 

He has a number of home addresses listed on public documents, within Jackson, Swain and Haywood counties. Most recently, Smith appears to have lived in Bryson City.
Among his crimes, Smith stole a Chevrolet Van containing tools from Print Shak, emblazoned with a Sasquatch logo and the store’s name on its side. The engine in the van blew out in Polk County.

Assistant District Attorney Christina Matheson prosecuted the case.

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