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Burglary nets former offenders more prison time

FARMINGTON — A burglary got two former felony offenders into a lot of trouble.

James B. Hoffman, 29, whose last address was Farmington, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and failure to register with the county as a sexual offender. Circuit Court Judge Sandra Martinez sentenced him to seven years in prison.

According to court records, a Park Hills resident notified police that two men were breaking into a house. When officers arrived, they found two men hiding in a closet.

The first man, Hoffman, immediately put his hands up and was taken into custody without incident.

Officers did a check on him and found that he had failed to register with the county sheriff as a sexual offender within 10 days of an address change.

Hoffman was convicted of second-degree statutory rape in Ste. Genevieve in July of 2000.

The second man, Kerry Smith, 40, reportedly refused to get out of the closet and had to be removed by police. He also refused to identify himself. Officers found him in possession of four necklaces that belonged to the owner of the property.

Smith told police that he had just been released from the correctional center in Licking. Officers used that information and his fingerprints to identify him.

Hoffman told police he broke into the house because he was broke and needed money.

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