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Ronan man admits to attempted firearm theft

by Jeff Smith/For the Leader
| May 30, 2024 12:00 AM

A Ronan man admitted to breaking into another man’s home in an attempt to steal a firearm. Warren Edward James, 42, entered a plea of guilty in Polson District Court May 22, to felony burglary.

The plea was entered as part of an agreement that calls for a joint recommendation of sentencing being deferred for three years. The judge is not bound to the agreement.

According to court records, on Feb. 21 a man contacted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to report seeing images of a prowler snooping around his residence while he was gone. He described the prowler as wearing a gray hoodie and that he had light brown hair and a goatee.

The deputies arrived to find prints in the snow on the south side of the home leading to the front of the main house and around outlying buildings. The reporting party entered the home with the two deputies to discover the prowler, later identified as James.

James was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle. After his rights were read to him, James agreed to speak with the deputies. He said he entered the home through a window on the back side of the house. After entering the premises, he closed and locked the window and said he found a 12-gauge shotgun hanging on a rack. He grabbed it and placed it on some cushions in the living room.

He continued to search the home and found magazines for the shotgun in another room. When asked why he entered the home, James replied, “I figured I didn’t have anything to lose.”

Judge Molly Owen set the case for sentencing July 17. James remains at liberty on his own recognizance.