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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Area man sent to pen

Thursday, January 16, 2003

CHARLESTON - Providing someone else's name to law enforcement officer during a vehicle stop has landed a four-time felon back in the pen.

Charles E. "Chocolate" Harris, 39, of Haywood City, pled guilty to forgery and was sentenced to two four-year sentences in prison for signing false names on two fingerprint cards at the Mississippi County Detention Center.

As Harris plead guilty and avoided making a trial necessary, the state agreed to the two four-year sentences.

The charges are from Oct. 29 when Harris was a passenger in a car stopped by Trooper Ron Eakins of the Missouri State Highway Patrol for a routine traffic violation.

During the standard warrant check on the vehicle's occupants, Eakins asked Harris what his name and birthday were. Harris responded by providing him with the name of another person.

As the name Harris provided was reported as having an outstanding warrant, Harris was arrested under his assumed name.

During processing at the Mississippi County Detention Center, Harris provided yet another false name in an effort to fool Eakins, using this name to sign two fingerprint cards.

Eakins later determined that the person he had under arrest was in fact Charles Harris and that Harris had an outstanding warrant for absconding from parole.

"I find it simply astonishing that this defendant thought he could get away with lying to the police that night," said Mississippi County Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Raffety. "Not only did this defendant lie to the police, the name he gave them belonged to someone else who was wanted!"

Raffety said it has been quite some time since she has seen a case like this. "This is certainly one that belongs on 'America's Dumbest Criminals,'" she added.

Prior to this offense, Harris has previously been convicted on four felonies and was on parole at the time of this latest offense.