2 teens charged in Cassville burglary

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Burglar with warrants flees into woods before capture

A pair of Monett teenagers have been charged in the alleged burglary of a Cassville home last week.

Justin Michael Willhite, 19, of Monett, is charged with burglary, misdemeanor property damage and misdemeanor resisting arrest; and Austin Hash-Baxter, 18, of Monett, is charged with burglary.

According to a pair of probable cause statements filed by Taylor Lombard, officer with the Cassville Police Department, police were dispatched to a home on Sunset Heights in Cassville where a 911 call had been made, and the line was open with sounds of disturbance in the background.

Lombard said after a brief investigation, a witness inside the residence said the suspect, Willhite, had kicked in the front door of the residence and fled out the back when Lombard arrived.

Lombard said he located Willhite in the yard and called for him to stop, but he fled on foot into the woods, where he was later caught.

Lombard said Willhite allegedly admitted to kicking in the door because the witness who lives at the home owed him money, and Willhite knew he had warrants out for his arrest.

Damage to the home is estimated at $630.

Before going in the home, Lombard made contact with Hash-Baxter, who was sitting in a vehicle outside the residence. Hash-Baxter later allegedly admitted to driving Willhite to the location from Monett, as someone owed Willhite money. He said the confrontation led to the residence, where Willhite kicked in the door. Hash-Baxter said he never entered the home.

Willhite had a felony warrant from Feb. 28 for leaving the scene of an accident, careless and imprudent driving, no license and no insurance.

Willhite is being held in the Barry County jail on a $30,000 bond. He has been arraigned, and a disposition hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

Hash-Baxter is also being held on a $30,000 bond, and has a disposition hearing slated for the same time in the same courtroom.

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