Weatherford Democrat

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August 1, 2012

Court roundup: four years for stolen beer, other plea cases

PARKER COUNTY — Four years for a can of beer.

That is the sentence one man received after pleading guilty to robbery on Friday regarding a shoplifting incident that escalated in the parking lot of a convenience store.

Justin Wayne Seely, 24, of Weatherford, pleaded guilty to robbery Friday and received a four year jail sentence, according to Assistant District Attorney Robert DuBoise.

Seely, reported to be a regular customer of the business entered the Tiger Mart on Interstate 20 and concealed a can of beer before leaving without making any attempt to pay for the drink.

When an employee confronted him at his vehicle while standing between the open door and the driver’s seat, Seely put the vehicle in reverse and accelerated at a high rate of speed.

The woman was dragged a short distance and sustained minor injuries, police reported at the time.

Though Seely initially left the scene, he turned himself in after police released a photo of the suspect to the Democrat and Seely and his friends recognized him on the front page.

Child abandonment nets three years

A man who has his young son’s name tattooed prominently across his neck now faces three years in jail for abandoning the 4-year-old in a car in the middle of the night while, authorities say, he ran from a sheriff’s deputy.

Darik Robert Kahler, 23, of Springtown, pleaded guilty Friday to abandoning or endangering a child without intent to return, a third degree felony, Assistant District Attorney Nikki Morton said.

Around 11 p.m. Feb. 28, a deputy attempted to follow a pickup that appeared to be speeding in the area of Highland Circle. However the vehicle “appeared to be attempting to hide for an unknown reason,” according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office at the time.

After the deputy lost sight of the vehicle near the intersection of two dead end roadways, he subsequently found the truck sitting in a private driveway on Highland Court, with the keys still swinging in the ignition, the sheriff’s office reported.

The deputy reportedly found a 4-year-old boy sound asleep, face down, in a booster in the back seat.

They had been drinking before driving around and, though he didn’t know why he ran, he guessed he was paranoid, Kahler later told investigators, according to Morton.

During the approximately two hour investigation at the scene, no one returned for the child.

The boy’s mother was contacted but she was arrested on outstanding warrants by an unspecified out-of-county law enforcement agency while en route to pick up her child so the child was turned over to Child Protective Services, according to the sherrif’s office.

The owner of the truck told police the truck was borrowed earlier in the evening to pick up a bed.

A woman found on foot in the area, Jessica Newman, gave the names of three other adults she said were in the truck with her at the time, though she later retracted her statement regarding one man.

Newman, Kahler and two others were later arrested, though charges were dropped against one man.

According to court records, Jessica Newman received 12 months probation in June on a misdemeanor charge of giving a false report to police officers.

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