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January 24, 2013

Jury trial begins for man accused of attempted burglary

Corey Mackey’s counsel emphasizes intentions behind ‘jiggling’ door handle.

WALTON — In the trial of the 35-year-old Logansport man accused of attempted house burglary, the counsel is asking 14 jurors to determine what was meant by the “jiggling” of a door handle.

The trial for Corey Mackey, a man who reportedly tried to break into a home July 22 on the 2800 block of east Ind. 16, began Tuesday in Cass Superior Court II. In the opening arguments, Cass County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim argued that Mackey “jiggled” the door handle to try to break into the house, while public defender Mark Leeman said Mackey had reportedly arrived at the house to buy hay.

Mackey also faces a class B felony burglary charge for a burglary that reportedly occurred July 17 at a residence in Georgetown.

According to police reports, a man attempted to enter a woman’s home July 22, 2012, through the front and rear door and window of her residence. He then jumped into a car with another man, but was pursued by the resident and her son and eventually apprehended by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.

Swaim began her argument by setting the scene at the woman’s home at 6 p.m. July 22, when she said the woman’s car was in the garage and no one was visible in the home.

“It must have looked like no one was home,” Swaim said.

Swaim said the woman then heard the front door handle “jiggling” and saw someone in the window of the beauty shop in her home. She then called her son, who lived nearby, and he decided to pursue the vehicle pulling out of the driveway.

“He says get in the car, we’re not going to let them get away,” Swaim said.

Leeman disputed Mackey’s intent at the house, saying that Knight reported he had driven Mackey to the home to buy hay.

“This case is about a mistake,” Leeman said. “Jiggling isn’t a burglary.”

Leeman also confirmed the 9-1-1 call and the car chase, but pointed to the police interrogation of Knight after the incident. He said the police had reportedly threatened Knight, saying his children would be taken away from him, and thus had obtained statements pointing towards an attempted burglary.

Swaim told the jurors the evidence would point towards a guilty verdict.

“After you hear all of the evidence  in this case, I would ask you to find the defendant guilty,” Swaim said.

Detective Tom Heflin with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department is the chief witness for the State. Leeman said he would also be calling Knight as a witness. The homeowner was called as a witness Tuesday.

Mackey had previously pleaded guilty in September 2008 to burglary and was sentenced by Cass Superior Court II Judge Rick Maughmer to one year in jail, four years on in-home detention and 10 years on probation.

Knight has an ongoing case for residential entry, a class D felony, in Cass Superior Court I.

Mackey could face a penalty of six to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for the class B felony.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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