A registered sex offender who had not been living at his reported residence was charged with three felonies after authorities executed a search warrant at his St. Clair area home.
James D. Leuchtmann, 68, was charged Friday, May 25, in a Franklin County felony complaint with stealing, unlawful possession of a firearm and failure to register as a sex offender. He is being held on a $50,000 bond in the Franklin County Jail.
According to the probable cause statement filed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, on May 16, a detective received information about stolen property from burglaries that at a home in the 400 block of Blue Bird Lane.
The home was listed as Leuchtmann’s primary residence when he registered as a sex offender. Authorities executed a search warrant and seized stolen property from Leuchtmann’s living quarters. The door to the living quarters was locked from the inside and the suspect’s pit bull was inside.
One of the stolen items was a firearm that was located on a shelf above the suspect’s bed, according to the sheriff’s department. Leuchtmann is not permitted to have a firearm because he is a convicted felon.
The detective received two voice mail messages from Leuchtmann, the first on May 19 and the second May 21, stating he had been out of town since May 15.
A sex offender who is gone from their primary residence for more than three days is required to report that information to the sheriff’s office, authorities said.
Leuchtmann also was using a phone number that was not registered with the department, and he had been driving a Ford truck that also was not registered.
The suspect was located May 24 at the residence after a peace disturbance was reported to the sheriff’s office. Leuchtmann was taken into custody where he told investigators he feels he should not have to register and claimed he was not guilty of the charge he was convicted on.
Leuchtmann was sentenced to the Missouri Department of Corrections in 2001 on one charge of forcible sodomy.
The suspect also told a detective that the firearm was not his and he was not aware that it was located at the home. He also denied any knowledge of stolen property and became agitated with and yelled at the detective.
The sheriff’s department alleges that Leuchtmann changed his story and stated he was only out of town for two days. The detective asked Leuchtmann how often he would change his story, and he replied that he would “keep changing it.”