Lakeview man enters not guilty plea to theft charges

A Lakeview man who pled guilty to breaking into a house in the early morning hours of March 21st, 2013 and assaulting the resident has entered a not guilty plea to charges newly filed against him.

In his most recent case, 27-year-old Jacob Caple is charged with breaking or entering and theft of property.

Caple did not appear during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday, but entered his plea through his attorney, Ben Burnett.

Investigators allege Caple stole a welder from a barn and later pawned it in Springfield for $100. The victim said he had last used the welder to make repairs to a piece of farm equipment.

The welder theft was noticed in mid-December last year as investigators were looking into the break-in of the welder owner's farm truck. The victim reported a number of items were removed from the truck, including a firearm.

An investigator in the Baxter County Sheriff's Office monitored Leads-On-Line, a pawn shop reporting system, until he saw where Caple had pawned a welder in Springfield matching the description of the one stolen.

When Caple came to the sheriff's office for an interview, he gave investigators a number of stories as to how he came into possession of the welder, but none of his accounts checked out.

Caple did spend time in prison on charges stemming from the 2013 home invasion.

According to court records, Caple and a co-defendant, Christian Blake Sisk, kicked down the door of a residence along Old Military Road. The pair went to the bedroom of then 18-year-old Luke Douglas and pulled the sleeping man out of his bed and beat him. Sisk held Douglas down while Caple administered the beating.

Douglas sustained serious physical injuries as a result of the beating, including a traumatic brain injury.

The victim said he had assumed the fetal position and covered his head in an attempt to ward off blows during the attack.

Caple and Douglas had known each other for a number of years and had been teammates on the Mountain Home High School wrestling team at one point.

There was no clear cut reason for the attack spelled out in court records.

During various court appearances on the earlier charges, Caple admitted he had become addicted to prescription pain medication, first given to him when he left the U.S. Marine Corps on a medical discharge.

From the time he first entered a plea in the home invasion case to the time he was sentenced, Caple did take a number of steps to improve his life, including completing a 13-month drug rehabilitation program at Jump Start Ministries in Walnut Ridge.

When sentenced, Caple was a student at Black River Technical College in Paragould where he was studying to be an electrician. He worked as an apprentice electrician in the East Arkansas city.

There was no plea agreement in Caple's cases. He left his sentencing up to the court. When he handed down Caple's sentence in May 2015, Circuit Judge Gordon Webb said he appreciated the actions Caple had taken to learn a trade and free himself of an addiction to pain medications.

However, Judge Webb told Caple he did not feel justice would be served if he did not spend some time in prison for "what was a pretty ghastly criminal act. There is no excuse for the kind of brutality inflicted on the victim in this case." Judge Webb sentenced Caple to 10 years in prison, with three to serve and seven suspended.

Sisk was sentenced to 10 years in prison May 2nd, 2013.

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