Prankster responsible for damage to Lufkin restaurant back in jail for sex offender violation

Prankster responsible for damage to Lufkin restaurant back in jail for sex offender violation
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source; KTRE Staff
Source; KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Diboll man who spent a short stint in prison for a prank call to a Lufkin McDonald's that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage is back in jail on a state-jail felony failure to comply with sex offender registration charge.

According to the arrest affidavit, the man failed to report his "online identifiers," including a Twitter account that has gone unreported since April 2009, which was four months before the Smoking Gun website outed James Tyler Markle as a member of a national prank ring.

James Tyler Markle, 27, is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony failure to comply with sex offender registration. No bail amount has been set yet on the charge.

The arrest affidavit, which was obtained on Oct. 20, said that Markle is required to register as a sex offender each year 30 days before or after his birthday, and he will be required to continue doing so until August of 2019.

When Markle came into the sheriff's office to register as a sex offender, the ACSO deputy read off the current list of e-mail addresses he had listed on previous sex offender registrations, the affidavit stated. Markle also told the deputy that he had new personal e-mail address and one he used for work that he wasn't supposed to give out.

At one point, the ACSO deputy asked Markle if he had any new "online identifiers," and Markle replied, "unless you consider gaming networks." The deputy gave him examples of online gaming networks which would count, including Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network, and Nintendo Network, and Markle admitted to having a Steam account, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, Markle started listing his Steam screen names. He allegedly also said, "The other one is my professional gaming account that is linked to my professional e-mail."

Markle also said that he didn't have any mobile games on his phone, the affidavit stated. He also listed his screen names for You Tube and Twitch and said his accounts with Twitch and Twitter were new because of the contract he has that allows him to earn revenue for streaming on Twitch.

"The online verifiers [Markle] reported to me during his verification were not reported on the state registry website from previous registrations," the deputy said in the affidavit.

Markle told the ACSO deputy that he is a "professional gamer and Twitch streamer," the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, further investigation revealed that Markle had another unreported Twitter account and a Google Plus account. The ACSO deputy also said in the affidavit that he found an additional Twitter account that showed Markle joined in April 2009 and added, it led him to believe Markle "has a history of not reporting his online identifiers."

The arrest affidavit went on to list unreported accounts on You Tube, Twitter, Steam, and Google+ and that failed to report employment status changes.
Back in August of 2009, the Smoking Gun website outed Markle as a member of a national prank ring.

"At that point and time it was just me and like a bunch of my friends that I met on the Internet having fun, just having fun," Markle said in a previous East Texas News story. "It started off as just random stuff, calling people off Craigslist and acting like we wanted their product and then playing a big joke on them."

Then, he said it turned into calling hotels and restaurants.

In June 2009, Markle called a Lufkin McDonald's and tricked an employee to activate the fire extinguishers and break four windows costing the business thousands of dollars.

At that time, Markle was serving a three-year probation term for a similar incident at Jefferson Parish Wendy's in Louisiana.

"Wendy's and McDonald's yes, but I didn't participate in very many other things other than that," explained Markle. "I did a lot of Craigslist, but once I saw it getting out of hand I was like no. I had stopped doing it for at least three or four months."

In one story, The Smoking Gun online claimed Markle pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in 2005 for molesting a 5-year-old in a Diboll Baptist Church, but Markle said that's not entirely true and the girl was apparently 12 and he was 13.

"It was a totally different incident," Markle claimed. "It was me and my girlfriend, and she was my age and her parents found out, got mad, pressed charges, statutory rape because I was older than her."

Markle was convicted of third-degree criminal mischief between $20,000 and $100,000 in November of 2010 and sentenced to five years in prison, and he served a brief prison stint before an Angelia County judge granted him shock probation.

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