A Bastrop man is sentenced to 20 years hard labor for his role in a 2012 house burglary.
Joe Mac Townsend was arrested on Jan. 30, 2012 on a charges of possession of stolen items and aggravated burglary of an inhabited dwelling.
The burglary occurred at residence on Cooper Lake Road. The door to the home had been kicked in and jewelry, cash and firearms were among items taken. Investigators with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Office was able to develop suspects in the case and located Townsend, who was in possession of some of the items taken.
Townsend was sentenced in 4th District Court after his case went to trial with a jury of his peers. He changed his plea to guilty of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling during the trial and, because he is a habitual offender, received the 20-year sentence. Morehouse Parish Assistant District Attorney Steve Sylvester was in charge of the case and filed the habitual offender bill. In order to be sentenced as a habitual offender, the person has to have been convicted at least twice of felonies.
Townsend was convicted in 1992 of manslaughter and served 10 years of a 21-year sentence. Beginning in 2002, he was arrested numerous times for drug and theft related charges, as well as parole violations.
Also convicted this week was Earnest Davis. Davis' conviction of simple possession of schedule II narcotic came after a six-person jury heard his trial. Morehouse Parish Assistant District Attorneys Devin Jones and John Spires brought the case.