Door-kick burglar stops trial, pleads guilty

Door-kick burglar stops trial, pleads guilty
Corey Fleming (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Corey Fleming (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - While on trial for eight Lufkin break-ins, the "door-kick" burglar decided to plead guilty, accepting a 50-year prison sentence.

District Attorney Art Bauereiss said Corey Fleming decided just before lunch that he wanted to change his plea.

His case was enhanced due to prior convictions.

"I call this a victory for justice," Bauereiss said.

Fleming, 44, of Lufkin, was indicted on eight third-degree felony burglary of a habitation charges in January of 2013. At the time of his arrest, he was also charged with a parole warrant for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, and two misdemeanor traffic charges.

Collectively, his bail was set at $1.22 million.

Fleming was tried in Judge Paul White's 159th Judicial District Court.

The plea comes halfway through the third day of testimony in a trial slated to take two weeks.

"We sat through almost two and a half days of testimony," Bauereiss said. "He saw the exhibits and I think he saw how things were stacking up."

Bauereiss said the events from Thursday are not normally seen in the courtroom.

"It's uncommon but it has happened before," he said.

Sharon Monroe testified about a break-in at her home on Aug.25, 2012.

Monroe told prosecuting attorney Art Bauereiss that she was staying with a friend by the name of Andy Modisette because of a break-in earlier in the week.

Monroe said that morning she went home to get some things.

"I went home and opened the door," Monroe said. "I saw pieces of the back door all over the floor. I turned around and went immediately out to my car."

Monroe said when she got outside, she called 911 and remained in the car. Monroe said police showed up first, and then Modisette showed up after she called him.

Monroe said she looked around the house after police got there.

"I looked in my bedroom and it was in a state of disarray," Monroe said. "The whole dresser drawer was gone. There was also a pillow case missing. The worst of my house was in my bedroom."

Monroe said she went outside and noticed the dresser drawer outside and claimed it was in a state of disarray. Monroe also pointed out a Coke can she found in the drawer. Monroe said she was terrified as police took her testimony and fingerprints. Monroe said she thought she saw police taking fingerprints off of a jewelry box as well.

Monroe said she had several diamond rings stolen and rare tanzanite rings. Monroe said most of it was gold.

"I had my mother's gold wedding band," Monroe said. "It was very sentimental to me. There was also a green ring that was sentimental from my mother. My high school ring was also gone. I had a gold charm bracelet that had 15 charms on it that was heavy in weight and would have been very sentimental."

Monroe said she listed about 5 pages of stolen jewelry to the police.

"I say it would have been about 50 to 60 pieces," Monroe said.

Monroe added that there were several rings that were hand-made locally and given to her as gifts from Modisette that were stolen as well.?

Earlier Thursday morning, Mary Forman, a friend of Dr. Thannisch, took the stand. On Wednesday, Dr. Thannisch testified about the burglary of his home.

Forman is a neighbor of Thannisch and was looking after his home while the doctor and his wife were on vacation in November of 2012.

"I took the mail over to leave for him for when he got back," Forman said. "I saw the door was messed with. I thought it was maintenance fixing something."

Forman said when she entered the residence, she realized it was not maintenance, and it looked like there had been an intruder.

"Everything wasn't a mess," Forman said. "But there certainly was a mess."

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.