‘Peeping Tom’ Pleads Guilty to Spying on Marthasville Women, Gets Eight Years - The Missourian: News

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‘Peeping Tom’ Pleads Guilty to Spying on Marthasville Women, Gets Eight Years

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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:15 pm | Updated: 2:59 pm, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

An alleged “Peeping Tom” accused of breaking into homes in Marthasville and spying on women since 2009 has been given an eight-year prison sentence.

Jaybirth Harris, 25, of the 800 block of Daniels Trail, pled guilty last week to three felony charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and first-degree attempted burglary along with three misdemeanor charges of second-degree attempted invasion of privacy, second-degree invasion of privacy and stealing.

Harris previously pled not guilty to the charges.

The prison sentence was part of a plea agreement reached between prosecutors and Harris’ lawyer, Ryan Helfrich, of Union.

Harris was identified as the suspected prowler through a surveillance camera installed by one Marthasville homeowner. He was arrested on Feb. 29.

Six days earlier, a Warren County deputy responded to a home on Country View Lane in Marthasville to investigate a prowler complaint by a female resident who reported an unknown person had damaged a window screen.

Detectives learned that a nearby resident had installed a surveillance camera that recorded their yard and part of the neighbor’s yard due to an ongoing problem with a suspected prowler in the neighborhood.

A review of the video showed a male subject standing outside the window for a three-hour period. During that time, the man had his pants partially removed and appeared to be masturbating while looking through the window, authorities said.

From that video, police were able to identify Harris as the suspect.

The following day, detectives interviewed Harris and he confessed to entering the residence and watching people in other homes. He also admitted to stealing condoms from one home, according to police.

Female Marthasville residents began complaining about a “Peeping Tom” looking into homes as far back as 2009.

In October 2009, a neighborhood watch forum was held at Marthasville City Hall to alert residents to an increase in suspicious activity involving reports of a prowler.

In one criminal complaint dating back to September 2009, a homeowner reported he was awakened by a noise in the hallway and noticed a man peeking through an open door to the bedroom. The suspect then fled from the home. The homeowner told deputies the door had been closed.

During an interview in February, Harris told deputies he entered the home through an unlocked door and had been watching a female at the residence over a three-month period.

Harris’ previous criminal history includes being placed on probation in connection with a November 2010 domestic assault incident in Union and for possession of marijuana, according to online court records.

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