Zachary Wailes
Zachary Wailes
October 29, 2013

Zachary Wailes stood in a Carroll courtroom Monday, clad in peach-and-white stripes and with his tattooed hands clasped behind his back, as he pleaded guilty in a clear voice to a string of crimes - ranging from lifting candy and soft drinks to stealing a pickup truck and eluding police.

District Judge Gary McMinimee accepted the 19-year-old Breda man's guilty plea for three felonies - second-degree theft, third-degree burglary and eluding a law-enforcement officer - in exchange for having a third-degree burglary charge dropped in Carroll County after he and Josey M. Wilson, 19, of Carroll, were accused of embarking on a crime spree that resulted in criminal charges in Carroll, Calhoun and Greene counties. The two are accused of stealing a pickup truck, camper, generator, all-terrain vehicle, car and several other items in early July. They allegedly eluded law-enforcement officers several times, once in a high-speed chase, before being apprehended.

The first charge involved the theft of a 2006 Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck on July 3 or 4.

McMinimee walked Wailes through the specifics of each alleged crime, clarifying various points.

Regarding the second charge, third-degree burglary, also taking place on or around July 3 or 4, Rasmussen turned to Wailes and said, "Specifically, the items would be the candy bars and pop?"

"Yup," Wailes responded.

The final charge involved willfully failing to bring a motor vehicle to a stop, even after an audible or visual signal from a law-enforcement officer, while transporting stolen property, on or around July 8. In doing so, McMinimee said, Wailes allegedly exceeded speeds that were more than 25 mph over the 55-mph speed limit.

After outlining the details of each charge, McMinimee accepted Wailes' guilty pleas.

Before the alleged thefts in July, there were outstanding-arrest warrants for Wailes and Wilson, who had failed to appear in court for drug and trespassing charges, respectively.

Wailes, who has been held in Carroll, pleaded to both his Greene County and Carroll County charges in Carroll. Similarly, Wilson, who has been held in Greene County, pleaded to similar charges for both counties in Jefferson. The two counties worked out that agreement to avoid having to transport the teenagers back and forth for hearings.

Although attorneys in Carroll and Greene counties did not collaborate specifically on plea negotiations, Greene County Attorney Nicola Martino said, they hope to work together to plan concurrent prison sentences for the two teens, which means their prison terms would be dictated solely by the most-severe charge to which they pleaded guilty. That would amount to a prison term of up to five years for each teen.

Both teens are set to be sentenced on Dec. 4.