By Karen Hall
A Marshall County jury deliberated for less than an hour Thursday afternoon before returning a guilty verdict in the case of Jason Fisher, 31.
Fisher was found guilty of four aggravated burglaries, two felony thefts, two misdemeanors thefts, and two counts of vandalism.
Fisher was accused of breaking into four of his neighbors' houses on Woodbridge Drive between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, 2011, and stealing an assortment of items, ranging from a big-screen TV to used cowboy boots. Most of the stolen goods were found in his bedroom.
"It was piled up everywhere - the bed, the floor, the closet," Marshall County Sheriff's Department Detective Jimmy Oliver testified Wednesday. "Open the door and you'd see it."
Fisher made several statements to Oliver after his arrest, and accused two or three other people of committing the burglaries. Detectives followed up all leads, but only one led to a real person, Josh Johnson, who was thoroughly investigated, but nothing was found.
"The only person who had stolen property from 100 percent of these burglaries was the defendant?" Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard asked Oliver.
"Correct," answered the detective.
"Josh Johnson had 0 percent?" Barnard asked.
"Correct," Oliver replied.
In Fisher's defense, attorneys Michael Collins and Bill Harold of the Public Defender's Office called Fisher's mother, Pamela, to the witness stand. She stated her son was not at home when the burglaries took place, but later admitted she was away at work every day from 6:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Pamela Fisher said she was unaware her son's bedroom was full of stolen goods.
Jason Fisher then testified, sticking to his story that the person who broke into his neighbors' houses was Josh Johnson, and he was just the lookout, walking up and down the street.
"I gave him the key to my house; let him put stuff in my room," Fisher said.
"You're telling the jury you're not guilty of these aggravated burglaries?" asked Collins.
"Yes, sir," Fished replied. "I did not knowingly steal anything. I knew what they were up to and I did not want to be involved."
"What do you mean by 'they'?" asked Barnard.
"Josh Johnson and another guy, a friend of his," Fisher replied.
Fisher said he did not remember signing the statement written for him by Oliver, which had been read in court.
Oliver, called back to the witness stand as a rebuttal witness, was asked by Barnard, "Who put the signature on that statement?" and the detective replied, "Jason Fisher."
Fisher will be sentenced in November.