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Louisiana man admits burglarizing restaurant near Carthage

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A Louisiana man admitted Thursday in Jefferson County Court that he unlawfully entered a town of Wilna business in 2011.

Stephen A. McMorris, 21, Jennings, La., pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, admitting that he entered the former Fargo Inn on Loop Road with the intent to commit a crime on Dec. 29, 2011.

Mr. McMorris was charged with the crime in September by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies after they were able to link DNA evidence found at the scene to him.

A detective said at the time of his arrest that he had defecated behind a bar at the scene and that detectives matched his DNA with a hair on a napkin found at the bar.

The DNA was matched with Mr. McMorris after he was stopped for a traffic violation in early September in Louisiana, according to a sheriff’s detective.

Mr. McMorris, who was living in the Carthage area at the time of the break-in, was extradited from Livingston Parish after investigators went to Louisiana to return him to Jefferson County to answer the charge.

Detectives said that copper piping and several bottles of alcohol were taken from the defunct restaurant and that about $14,000 in damage was done to the building by ripping out the copper pipes, resulting in the malfunction of the septic system and flooding of the basement.

Sentencing for Mr. McMorris is scheduled for Nov. 1.

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