Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey M. Merrell announced that today KYLE R. AYRES, d/o/b: 02-16-1994, of Kimberling City, Missouri, entered a guilty plea without a plea agreement to the felonies of burglary in the second degree and possession of a controlled substance. Ayres’ felony jury trial was scheduled to begin this morning before Judge Mark Orr, in Christian County. A change of venue motion filed by Ayers’ attorney had previously been granted, moving the trial from Taney County to Christian County. Formal sentencing is scheduled for April 4, 2014.

On the morning of May 21, 2012, Ayres, along with another male, used a rock to break through the glass door, forcing entry into the Polo store at Tanger Mall. Once inside the store, Ayres and his co-defendant grabbed clothes and carried them outside. The store was closed at the time of the burglary, but the two burglars were confronted by a maintenance man at the mall as they escaped with the clothing. Ayres’ co-defendant struck the maintenance man, injuring him.

Ayres was identified by an eyewitness, who recognized him as an employee of the Polo store he had just burglarized. The two burglars – along with a getaway driver – were all apprehended by Branson Police shortly after the burglary. Once arrested, Ayres was found to have been in possession of testosterone – a controlled substance for which he did not have a prescription. The getaway driver, and the burglar who struck the maintenance man, both had pleaded guilty months ago.

Both the burglary and the drug possession charges are class C felonies. The range of punishment for a class C felony is one (1) day to one (1) year in the Taney County Jail, or up to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.