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James Edwin Collins
James Edwin Collins (Courtesy Photo)

A Sykesville man who had pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary was sentenced last week to eight years, with all but 18 months suspended.

A Carroll County grand jury indicted James Edwin Collins of the 4000 block of Sykesville Road on March 14, and he pleaded on July 24. He was sentenced Nov. 13, and he began serving his sentence on that date. After release he will serve five years probation. He was also ordered to pay $464 in restitution, according to electronic court records.

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Collins broke and entered into his neighbor’s home in Sykesville on Jan. 9, according to the indictment.

According to the statement of charges, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to the burglarized home on Jan. 9. A resident, who spoke to police by phone, had been out of town at the time his home was broken into, but he had surveillance camera footage of the incident and told police he recognized Collins as the intruder. Among the damages, Collins removed the downspout from the house and broke the back door window.

Police contacted a local scrap metal company, and an employee was able to confirm that Collins sold aluminum items comparable to downspouts to the store that same day, according to the statement.

Adam Wells, senior assistant state’s attorney, said in an email that the state sought a sentence within the sentencing guidelines of two years to eight years.

Wells said one factor in the sentencing was Collins’ “multiple health issues,” though he declined to specify them. “There were a lot of issues he had that required a lot of medications and frequent doctor appointments,” Wells said.

Collins will also be required to conduct drug testing during his probation and is not to contact the victim, Wells said.

Collins was represented by the Office of the Public Defender.

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