Judge Hands Down Prison Sentence to DeKalb West School Burglar

December 13, 2017
by: 
Dwayne Page
Brian Howell
Photo from school video surveillance shows Brian Clinton Howell holding a burglary tool after entering DeKalb West School on Sunday, September, 2016

A man responsible for a burglary and theft at DeKalb West School over a year ago was sentenced Tuesday in DeKalb County Criminal Court.

Judge Gary McKenzie presided.

31 year old Brian Howell entered a plea to burglary and received a four year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The term is to run concurrent with sentences against him in Wilson County in which he is to serve eight years in prison. Howell must make restitution jointly and severally of $525 to DeKalb West School.

A co-defendant, 27 year old Shauna Melissa Fleetwood of Mount Juliet received a two year sentence for burglary on Monday, November 27 and will be on probation. The term is to run consecutive to another case against her. She must make restitution of $525 jointly and severally to DeKalb West School.

The burglary occurred on Sunday, September 25, 2016.

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, video surveillance showed that Fleetwood, driving a green Ford Taurus, pulled up at DeKalb West School and dropped off Howell. He then used a pry bar to enter a side door and broke into a soft drink vending machine, taking $20.00. Fleetwood later returned to pick up Howell and they drove away.

After being contacted by the Principal, Sheriff Ray said his department started an investigation. “We got a report Sunday, September 25, 2016 that somebody had broken into DeKalb West School and vandalized a coke machine. The intruder got into the machine and stole money out of it. A detective went down to the school, reviewed the video, and got a good description of the intruder and the vehicle which dropped him off,” said Sheriff Ray.

After learning that a school in Watertown had also been recently burglarized, the detective contacted authorities there and during their joint investigation discovered that burglaries had occurred in Smith County as well and that a “BOLO” had been issued for area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the suspects. On Thursday evening, September 29, 2016 Wilson County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Lebanon Police Department officers located the suspects, Howell and Fleetwood, at the Traveler’s Inn in Lebanon.

In the DeKalb County case, Sheriff Ray said Howell was charged with burglary, vandalism, possession of burglary tools, and theft under $500. Fleetwood was charged with burglary and theft under $500 for being involved in a burglary in which she dropped off Howell in her vehicle , went to a gas station nearby, and then returned to pick him up. Both admitted to detectives their involvement in the crimes.

The pair also faced charges for the burglaries at elementary schools in Wilson and Smith Counties.

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