JAMES I. WARREN (d/o/b: 6-09-1983), of Merriam Woods, Missouri, pleaded guilty on Thursday, February 20, 2014, to the class C felonies of burglary in the second degree and stealing, for a break-in he committed in July of 2010. Taney County Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr scheduled Warren’s sentencing for April 17, 2014. Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell says that his office and the defendant have no agreement about what sentence Warren will receive.

Between July 19th and July 21st of 2010, a home at 130 Huntington Drive, in Branson, was burglarized and several items of property were stolen from inside. Taney County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, investigated, and found a broken window with blood and fingerprints on it. Samples were taken of the blood on the broken window and sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab for testing. The DNA from a blood sample was found to be the same as someone who’s DNA was already on file with the State’s database of criminal offenders – specifically, James I. Warren. Despite the DNA evidence linking Warren to the crime, it was not until Warren was held in custody for missing a trial date that he finally entered a guilty plea.

Burglary in the second degree and felony stealing are both class C felonies, normally carrying a maximum sentence of seven (7) years in prison and/or a $5,000.00 fine. However, Warren is charged as a prior and persistent felony offender, enhancing his maximum sentence for each count to fifteen (15) years in prison.