Career criminal gets 90 years in Benton | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Career criminal gets 90 years in Benton

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 8:58 AM

This should reduce the Saline County crime rate -- a burglary conviction and 90-year sentence for a Benton man caught with his son on convenience store break-in. Pop had THIRTEEN priors. A sharp-eyed citizen gets credit for the bust.

SALINE PROSECTUOR'S NEWS RELEASE

Larry Joe Dunlap, 52, of Benton, was tried to a jury on charges of Commercial Burglary, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and four counts of Breaking or Entering.  He was convicted of all six counts, and the jury recommended running his sentences consecutively.  Judge Robert Herzfeld followed the jury’s recommendation and imposed the 90 year sentence. 

The charges in this case originated from a break-in at the EZ-GO gas station on highway 5 on January 4th of this year.  At about 5a.m., David Delong was heading home from work when he heard an alarm sounding at the EZ-GO.  He is a former security guard and decided to pull in to the parking lot to see what was going on.  As he rounded the building he heard a vehicle door shut and saw a truck pull out of the lot.  Delong called the police and followed the truck until it was stopped by Officer Jimmy Thompson and Sgt. Hanley Taylor near the 116 exit on I-30.  As they approached the vehicle they noticed a cable attached to the bumper of the truck with the other end attached to a door handle from a business.  They also found a pry bar, bolt cutters, a cigarette display shelf, and 3 packs of cigarettes in the cab of the truck.  Larry Joe Dunlap was driving the vehicle and his son, Jeremy Joe Dunlap, was a passenger. 

Cpl. Daniel Creasy and Detective Jennifer Tarvin responded to the scene of the break-in and discovered that the power had been cut off to the building and a handle was missing from the front door.  The doors had been forced open, a cigarette rack was missing, and four amusement machines had been broken into.  No money was missing from the scene, and it appeared that the Defendants got the machines open but couldn’t find the money inside.   

Jeremy Dunlap, who had never been to prison, pled guilty in August and received a sentence of 3 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.  Larry Dunlap is a habitual offender with 13 felony convictions and had previously served several short prison sentences. 

“We may never have even had an arrest in this case, much less a sentence like this if it hadn’t been for David Delong going out of his way to be a good citizen,” said Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady.  “Within minutes of the call about the break-in, the Benton Police Department had the suspects pulled over and officers securing the scene.  Larry Dunlap has been in and out of the system since at least 1982, and because of the good work by Delong, the police department, and deputy prosecutors Andy Gill and Brian Clary he will be in for a while this time.” 

Larry Dunlap will be eligible for parole after serving approximately 15 years of his 90 year sentence.

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