The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

February 6, 2014

Palestine woman gets 20 years for burglary of a habitation

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — A 38-year-old Palestine woman was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison last month for her part in the burglary of an Anderson County residence in 2012.

According to Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, April Nicole Defore was issued the sentence on Jan. 21 by visiting District Judge Jerry Calhoon. She had been on probation since Nov. 2, 2012 for a burglary she committed on Feb. 12, 2012.

The burglary case was investigated by Anderson County Deputy Sheriff Office deputies John Wright and Colton Covington with follow-up work done by Investigators Ryan Tolliver, Lee Duren and Deputy Sgt. Brian Chason.

Investigators developed Defore as a suspect in the burglary case after the victim called the ACSO and reported that someone had taken a 42-inch plasma television and some coins from his residence located on FM 1817 east of Elkhart.

The victim told Wright and Covington that a white female, who turned out to be Defore, had moved into a rental house next to his home. Defore had knocked on his door earlier on the day of the crime and asked borrow some pliers.

The victim then left his house for about 45 minutes and during that time someone had entered the victim’s house through an unlocked back door.

When Wright called Defore and asked her about “something that had happened next door,” Defore replied that said she was “gonna bring the TV back,” also telling officers that she and her house guest named “Zach” had entered the home and taken the TV, coins and a BB gun.

The BB gun was later found in Defore’s vehicle and the TV and coins were recovered by the deputies. Investigators believe Defore stole the property to buy illegal drugs.

Burglary of a Habitation is a 2nd degree felony, which carries a range of between 2 to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Anderson County First Assistant District Attorney Stanley Sokolowski represented the State of Texas in the probation revocation hearing and Defore was represented by local attorney, Paul Guillotte.

At the hearing, Sokolowski presented evidence Defore had committed additional criminal offenses, failed to report to her probation officer and had used methamphetamine.

During sentencing, Calhoon stated that, “while I’m a firm believer in giving people a chance on probation, when you violate its terms, you should be punished.”

“I certainly agree that Defore deserved the maximum sentence,” Lowe said. “I compliment the Sheriff’s Office in doing a quick investigation.

“But, I need to remind Anderson County residents to please lock their doors and windows, close garage doors and secure storage buildings,” he added. “There are just too many people in our community like Defore that would rather steal than be productive citizens.”