Guilty Verdict In First Jury Trial Since The Pandemic, LIVINGSTON, May 13, 2021 - In the county’s first jury trial since the COVID -19 virus shutdown, a jury found Steven Slaughter guilty of Burglary of a Habitation. On May 11, 2021 in the 411th Judicial District Court, Prosecutor, Beverly D. Armstrong presented evidence showing how Slaughter and another man, entered Shauna Munson’s camping house and took lumber, an AC unit and other items.
The investigation started on October 30, 2017, when Mike Terry, the neighbor, called Munson to advise of suspicious activity on her property. The neighbor advised there were two men taking lumber from her camping house and loading it on a truck. He further stated there were other items in the truck including an AC unit still in the box. Additionally, the neighbor approached the men and challenged their authority to be on the property. Terry also took a picture of the men while on the property.
During the October 30, 2017 encounter, Munson spoke with Slaughter over the phone and instructed him to put everything back inside the camping house where he found it. Because she believed everything would be returned, no charges were immediately filed. However, when she arrived to the property on November 6, 2017, she found her door had been pried open, things had been moved in the house and additional items, other than lumber and the AC unit were missing. Further, the AC unit was laying outside near her gate. She called the Sheriff’s office to report the additional damage to her property and the additional items missing. At that time, charges were filed.
Jurors heard testimony from several witnesses including Munson who stated that she did not give Slaughter or anyone else consent to enter and take things from her property. Additionally, the state presented pictures of the damage to the camping house, the AC unit found outside, the location in the house where items were taken and a picture of Slaughter and his accomplice loading the lumber in their truck.
The jury deliberated for less than an hour. The defendant will be sentenced by Judge John Wells, III in the 411th Judicial District Court at a later date.
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