JOPLIN, Mo. —
A homeless man, who acted as a lookout during a burglary at Stone’s Corner Pharmacy and may have set a fire at a nearby business as a diversion, has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Circuit Judge David Dally assessed David W. McCool, 23, the prison term at a hearing Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court.
McCool pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to second-degree burglary in connection with a June 26 burglary of the pharmacy at 6059 N. Main Street Road in the village of Airport Drive. His plea agreement limited the prison time that he might face to no more than five years.
McCool’s alleged accomplice, Shannon D. Albright, 28, of Webb City, was arrested the day after the break-in when he became involved in a traffic accident in Joplin and fled on foot, discarding a backpack along the way. He was caught by police, the backpack was retrieved and about 1,900 pills believed to have been stolen from the pharmacy were found inside it. Albright reportedly was caught with more stolen pills still in his possession inside the Joplin City Jail.
Albright eventually admitted to investigators that he used a crowbar to gain entry to the pharmacy and break into two cabinets containing an array of narcotics, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Information he provided detectives led to the arrest and charging of McCool.
McCool later admitted that he had helped plan the burglary and served as a lookout for Albright. He told detectives that he set a fire in the area as a distraction while Albright was breaking in, according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Carl Junction firefighters responded to a fire the night of June 26 at the House of Bounce, a children’s recreation business at 3684 N. Main Street Road. That fire initially was believed to have been caused by an electrical short. No arson charges have been brought in the case.
Albright’s burglary charge remains pending in Jasper County Circuit Court. He also is facing a count of intent to distribute with respect to his alleged possession of the backpack, and counts of possession and assault of a corrections officer with respect to the incident at the jail.
DAVID McCOOL WAS ORDERED to pay $10,000 in restitution at his sentencing for burglary. The order does not state if the restitution is to be paid to Stone’s Corner Pharmacy.