McCuin gets 20-year sentence for felony; Wilkins guilty of theft

CHEROKEE COUNTY (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Two Cherokee County men will serve time for felony offenses.

Harold Dewayne McCuin on Wednesday was sentenced to 20 years in prison for felony driving while intoxicated-enhanced, while Craig Anthony Wilkins was sentenced Oct. 3 to two years in state jail for theft of a firearm, the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Cherokee County Assistant District Attorney Ekua Assabill, who prosecuted both cases, said McCuin's driving while intoxicated charge was enhanced to a second-degree felony because he had a prior felony conviction on top of two prior misdemeanor convictions for driving while intoxicated. Wilkins was convicted of theft of a firearm, a state jail felony, but acquitted on a burglary of a building charge.

McCuin, 50, was represented by Bill Wilder, and Judge Bascom Bentley III presided.

Wilkins, 21, was represented by A. Lerue Dixon III, and Judge Dwight Phifer presided.

McCuin's offense stems from an incident that occurred in July 2010, when he lived in the Rusk area.

Ms. Assabill said Rusk City Manager Mike Murray was driving home on U.S. Highway 69 behind a white pickup that was swerving.

She said Murray followed McCuin from the Jacksonville city limits into Rusk, and by the time he exited Jacksonville, he called Rusk police to report that a man was driving erratically.

McCuin eventually pulled into a parking lot in Rusk, and a police vehicle pulled in behind him.
He "gets out of his car and walks toward the police unit. They talked to him for a short while, (and) he was not making a lot of sense …" Ms. Assabill said. "His behavior on the scene, and the fact he smelled like alcohol, (gave a) pretty good indication he had been drinking."

McCuin was taken to the hospital, where his blood alcohol level showed to be .29.

Wilkins' offense occurred in October 2011. Wilkins, of Alto, allegedly went into the Pearman Motor Company building in Alto and stole some items, including a firearm, which was later recovered at his home, Ms. Assabill said.

A jury found that Wilkins was not guilty of burglarizing the building, but did take the firearm.


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