By Karen Hall
A Marshall County man who has been in and out of trouble since he was 18 years old received a long sentence Wednesday for a series of burglaries he committed last year.
A jury found Jason Fisher, 31, guilty of four aggravated burglaries, four felony thefts, and three misdemeanor vandalisms.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Fisher broke into four of his neighbors' houses on Woodbridge Drive between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, 2011, and stole an assortment of items, ranging from a big-screen TV to used cowboy boots. Most of the stolen goods were found in his bedroom in the house where he lived with his mother.
"It's the state's position he's a career criminal," said Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard. He enumerated Fisher's 12 felony convictions, all for theft and burglary.
"It only takes six to make him a career criminal," Barnard said.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler agreed with the ADA.
"I do find he's a career offender," Crigler said.
During his time in the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Fisher was reported to have had 56 dsiciplinary infractions.
Crystal Gray, of the Board of Probation and Parole, was instructed to prepare a pre-sentence report for Fisher. He refused to fill in the papers she sent him, so Gray went to jail, and requested to see Fisher in the booking room.
"He said he wasn't talking to nobody, and wasn't filling out (anything)," Gray reported Fisher said to her, using a common vulgarity.
Barnard called one of Fisher's victims as a witness.
"He has impacted our lives, very much so," said Linda Anderson. "I've worked hard for everything I have. You have no right to treat your mother like that; you should be ashamed of what you put your mother through."
When it was Fisher's turn to speak, he stuck to the story he told at the trial: other men had done the burglaries and he had just been the lookout and stored the stolen goods for them.
"I'm sorry for what happened," Fisher said. "I never broke into anybody's house, though I was involved."
"This is a career criminal," Barnard said. "Run everything consecutive 'Ä" the longer he's in the pen, the less likely he is to be in someone's house."
Public Defender Bill Harold, representing Fisher, argued for concurrent sentences.
"Fifteen years is a long sentence," Harold said. "He probably will not get parole. Consecutive sentences would be longer than a life sentence."
In the end, Crigler decided to run some of the 12-year sentences for theft and the 15-year sentences for burglary consecutive and some concurrent, resulting in an effective sentence of 45 years, of which Fisher must serve 60 percent before being eligible for a parole board hearing. He has 422 days of jail credit, having been arrested shortly after the crimes were committed.
Also sentenced Wednesday was Kevin L. Kilbourn, 38, of Lewisburg, who pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. He will serve 100 percent of a nine-year sentence, and then be on the Sex Offender Registry and subject to community supervision for the rest of his life. Kilbourn has 133 days of jail credit.