On Thursday, February 28, 2013, Jason Wallace Carpenter, 41, of Prosper, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for Burglary of a Habitation, and 10 years in prison for Burglary of a Building. The sentences, which will run concurrently, were handed down by 397th District Judge Brian Gary after a Grayson County jury had earlier in the month convicted Carpenter of the charges after a 4-day trial.
On February 6, 2012 Grayson County deputy Andrew Brazie responded to a report of a burglary on Liberty Road, near Gordonville, and found a residence and barn had been ransacked. The homeowner reported that several televisions, firearms, electronics, tools, lawn equipment, a tractor, a trailer, two valuable statues, and an SUV had been stolen. The stolen property was worth more than $200,000.
Deputies, let by Investigator Harvey Smitherman, posted a reward for information on the burglaries, and received tips that eventually tied the thefts to Carpenter and four other individuals. After interviewing several of those suspects and recovering some of the stolen property, investigators conducted a search of Jason Carpenter’s residence in Prosper, leading to the discovery of property taken during the burglary.
The other suspects in the burglary pled guilty and testified against Jason Carpenter. Assistant District Attorney Brett Smith led each of the witnesses through a description of the role played by each of the persons involved. Testimony was presented that Jason Carpenter and three of the co-defendants had scouted the property the day before the burglary, and that Carpenter and another man, David Phares, stole the items from the home.
A witness testified that he had seen two white males and a female leaving the property at the time of the burglary in the victim’s stolen vehicle. The jury deliberated less than two hours before finding Carpenter guilty on both counts of Burglary.
After his conviction, Carpenter chose to have his punishment assessed by Judge Gary. Prosecutor Brett Smith presented evidence that Carpenter had previous convictions for Aggravated Robbery, Delivery of Marijuana, two convictions for Possession of Methamphetamine, and a felony Criminal Mischief conviction. Evidence was also presented during punishment that Carpenter was on parole at the time of the burglary and continued to use methamphetamine during his time on parole.
“This case was difficult because most of the witnesses were person involved in methamphetamine and had also participated in this crime,” said Smith. “But Carpenter had some of the property at his home, and the jury had heard enough to connect the pieces and hold the defendant accountable.”
Smith also recognized the work of the Sheriff’s Office.
“The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office did a great job on the case and really worked hard,” he noted.
“Burglaries go along with methamphetamine and the drug trade,” said Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown. “I know folks get tired of these thieves, and we really wanted to make sure we made a point with this case. This guy was a longtime thief, and at some point you just have to keep a thief off the streets.”
Assistant District Attorney Donnie Carter assisted Smith in the prosecution. Carpenter was represented by Sherman attorney John Hunter Smith.