A week ago, Austin Enochs sat stone faced during his pre-trial hearing in Marion County Circuit Court at Hannibal. Adamant that he would let a jury decide his fate, he flatly – through his attorney – turned down two plea offers presented by the Ralls County Prosecutor’s office.
On Thursday, April 10, Enochs had a change of heart. Fifty jurors had been summoned to jury duty in Palmyra – on a change of venue - beginning early Friday morning. Instead, on Thursday, Enochs entered a guilty plea to a Class C felony of burglary in the second degree (Count 1) and the amended charge of Class A misdemeanor of receiving stolen property (Count 3). Count 2 was dismissed by the state.
Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd sentenced Enochs to serve a term of five years in the Department of Corrections pursuant to Section 559.115, the Institutional Treatment Program.
She also ordered Enochs to pay restitution in the amount of $4099.88 (Judy Harding, $750; Christopher and Paula Brown, $620; Sam Lomax $1000; and Progressive Insurance, $1729.88.) Restitution is “joint and several with Isaac Boyd and Matthew Schenk,” according to the court order. If Enochs is released on probation, conditions will include 40 hours of community service in Ralls County, and the defendant will be required to write apology letters to the victims.
On Friday, April 4, during his pre-trial hearing, Enochs, with close cropped sandy-colored hair and wearing a Pike County-issued orange jump suit, barely reacted when Ralls County Deputy Richard Adair testified about events which occurred in early September 2013, at Lomax Lake in Ralls County.
Deputy Adair described Lomax Lake as a remote area. He was responding to a burglary report from property owners at the lake when a vehicle drove down the half-mile lane, bordered on each side by tall corn.
“At the end of the cornfield, you make a left turn.” Because of the corn, no one driving down that lane could see that a deputy was at the trailer until he or she made that turn. Adair said the car “stopped, started back up and left quickly.”
The deputy “gave chase, stopped (the vehicle) and detained the occupants.”
Austin Enochs was in the front passenger seat, Deputy Adair said. Matthew Schenck was in the rear seat.
Adair said it was evident from the start that Enochs didn’t want to cooperate with law enforcement.
But Isaac Allen Boyd, the driver of the car, supplied the deputy with information about the burglary the previous night.
Deputy Adair said that Boyd told him where he and Enochs lived, and agreed to accompany the deputy and another officer to the house in order to locate the stolen property.
They entered the back door of the house at 704 Pine Street in Hannibal. Off the hallway to the left was Isaac Boyd’s bedroom and a closet. “The majority of the stolen items were found in the closet next to Boyd’s room,” Deputy Adair testified. There was an egg-shell shaped mattress topper on Boyd’s bed. A large foldable camping shower was in the hallway, and a television was located on the kitchen countertop.
“Three TVs were stolen and all three were found in the house,” Deputy Adair testified.
Austin Enoch’s room was located in what would typically be the dining room, Deputy Adair said, and there was no door. “We went into the living room, and I had a plain view of Austin’s room.” A TV and a second egg crate mattress topper were easily visible.
The probable cause statement indicated that Isaac Boyd admitted taking the property, and had it at his residence. The items in the house matched the description of the items reported stolen.
“We had a conversation,” Deputy Adair said, referring to Isaac Allen Boyd, “and he helped the victims recover their items and answered for what he did.”
Isaac Boyd entered a guilty plea to his role in the thefts in early January.
The public defender representing Isaac Boyd, and Ralls County prosecutor, Rodney Rodenbaugh, worked out an agreement including a 120-day sentence in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Correction’s Institutional Treatment Program. Boyd would be required to perform 40 hours of community service in Ralls County, to pay restitution to the victim, $375 to Christopher Brown and $527 to Mr. Brown’s insurance company; to cooperate in the cases against his co-defendants; to attend school full time in order to obtain his high school diploma; and to obtain a job so that he can earn money to pay the restitution and court costs. In addition, Judge Shepherd would require that he have no intoxicating substances or participate in gaming.
The third man charged with the burglary, Matthew Ray Schenck, was sentenced on Feb. 19, 2014, to seven years with the Department of Corrections, pursuant to 559.15 Shock Incarceration Program. He entered a guilty plea to theft-stealing, a Class C felony.