The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

June 25, 2012

Post-tornado looter draws prison term

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Jasper County judge sentenced an Arkansas woman to three years in prison Monday for stealing valuables from a home in Duquesne after the tornado on May 22, 2011.

Lynette Curry, 27, of Rogers, pleaded guilty March 26 to felony theft in a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office that dismissed counts of burglary and felony possession of a controlled substance. Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Curry the prison term at her sentencing hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court.

The defendant and an alleged accomplice, Gary E. Wright, 35, of Rogers, were arrested in Duquesne three days after the tornado.

Jasper County sheriff’s deputies and Duquesne police stopped Wright for questioning when he was observed walking behind East Middle School wearing a backpack. He told officers that he was photographing tornado damage with the help of a friend driving a vehicle in the area, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

He was carrying a walkie-talkie, and had pliers, wrenches, binoculars, a flashlight and screwdrivers in the backpack, which officers suspected were burglary tools, the affidavit says. They also found a text message on his cellphone from someone dubbed “Fa la la la la la la” that read: “I’m in the corner house with the orange car we need to go I got everything we will ever need please come have a look out for so I can get out of here k,” according to the affidavit.

Officers later stopped a vehicle with Arkansas plates that was being driven by Curry. A search of the vehicle reportedly turned up a laptop computer, a duffel bag containing hundreds of pieces of jewelry and a bag of methamphetamine. Curry also had a walkie-talkie matching Wright’s in her possession and a cellphone that was confirmed to have sent the message to Wright, according to the affidavit.

The laptop and jewelry were determined to have been taken in a burglary earlier that day of Thomas Rhinehart’s tornado-damaged home in the 4100 block of East 24th Street.

Alleged accomplice

GARY WRIGHT, Lynette Curry’s alleged accomplice in the looting of a home in Duquesne three days after the May 22, 2011, tornado, has trial dates set for August. He is charged with burglary and felony theft.

1
Text Only
Crime & Courts
  • Neosho man hurt in scooter accident north of Goodman

    A Neosho man was injured in a scooter accident at 3:40 p.m. Friday on Missouri Highway 59, two miles north of Goodman in Newton County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

    April 18, 2014

  • Joplin police seize pound of meth after traffic stop

    Joplin police seized about a pound of methamphetamine and $2,000 cash in a traffic stop Thursday at 17th Street and Maiden Lane.

    April 18, 2014

  • Two-year-old boy, stepfather suffer gas-fire burns

    ARMA, Kan. — A 2-year-old boy and his stepfather suffered burns Friday afternoon when a plastic gasoline container left near a fire pit ignited, according to the Arma Police Department.

    April 18, 2014

  • Court date set for defendant in stabbing case

    GIRARD, Kan. — A suspect is being held at the Crawford County Jail on a charge of attempted murder in the stabbing of another man Wednesday afternoon in Girard.

    April 18, 2014

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    A family whose teenage daughter’s suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jeffery Bruner.JPG Defendant denied change of venue in MSSU coach slaying

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a motion for a change of venue for Jeffrey Bruner, the defendant charged with killing Missouri Southern State University assistant football coach Derek Moore.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reeds man granted probation in case involving gunshots

    A Jasper County judge has granted suspended sentences to a rural Reeds man who tore up a campsite with his truck in a drunken rage and fired a gun at another driver and a sheriff’s deputy.

    April 17, 2014

  • Joplin man faces burglary charge after incident

    A 31-year-old man is facing a burglary charge following an incident Wednesday afternoon at a business near downtown Joplin.

    April 17, 2014

Local News
Sports
Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest