Updated: Jan 10
Monday, January 9, 2023 - A Muldrow man pleaded not guilty Jan. 4 to a charge of first-degree burglary after he reportedly broke into a neighbor’s apartment in December. He was also charged with assault and battery, a misdemeanor.
At 12:36 a.m. on Dec. 30, a Muldrow police officer and a deputized Cherokee Nation marshal were dispatched to an apartment complex in Muldrow in reference to a breaking-and-entering incident at an apartment there.
When the officers got to the scene, they met with the victim, Sharlin Cornbest, who was standing outside her apartment. She stated that her neighbor, James William Ayres, 33, had entered her residence while she was inside and started destroying some lighting.
Cornbest also said Ayres tried to strike her with his fists but was not successful. She stated that Ayres then fell into her, knocking her to the ground. Combest said she was trying to get Ayres to leave her residence, but he refused.
After Ayres finally left the apartment, Cornbest called the Muldrow Police Department.
Officers asked Cornbest if she had invited Ayres into her apartment. She stated that she had not, and that she believed Ayres opened her door and entered her residence without her permission.
Law enforcement then went to Ayres’ apartment. When the officers announced themselves, they could hear Ayres moving around inside the apartment and laughing. Ayres reportedly tried to slam his door in the officers’ faces, but one of them was able to block the door with his foot.
Upon entering Ayres’ apartment, the officers asked him why he had entered Cornbest’s residence and assaulted her. Instead of responding, Ayres turned his back on them.
Ayres was then told that he was being arrested for first-degree burglary and assault and battery. Ayres reportedly began resisting arrest and he and one of the officers wrestled to the floor. Ayres was then arrested and transported to the Sequoyah County Detention Center.
If convicted of the burglary charge, Ayres could face up to 20 years in prison. His next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. Feb. 8 before Judge Kyle Waters.
In a separate case, Ayres was charged Dec. 20 with breaking into and entering another apartment on the same day.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, a Muldrow police officer was dispatched to the location. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with Mark Owen, the reporting party.
Owen stated that he was in bed asleep when he heard a noise in his living area. He went to see what it was and saw Ayres coming in his window. Owen asked him what he was doing, to which Ayres said he was there to get his belongings.
Ayres then asked where his bottle of vodka was. Owen handed it to him and told police he hid it because Ayres was extremely intoxicated. Ayres also took his own cigarettes, then walked out the door.
Ayres told police that he and Owen had been drinking and when he went back to his room, he had forgotten his belongings at Owen’s apartment. Ayres then reported that he has a key to all the units at the complex and he showed a keyring to the officer. He stated that he used one of the keys to enter Owen’s room. Ayres denied entering the apartment by climbing into the window. The officer asked if he had Owen’s permission to enter the room, to which Ayres yelled, “My belongings were in there, so I was going to get them!”
Ayres was then told that he cannot go into the apartment without permission from the person who is living there. The man again said he had a key to every unit there and that he was allowed to go in there.
On Dec. 21, Owen told police he was missing an ashtray from his home.
Also on the 21st, police were again dispatched to the same address in regard to Ayres throwing Owen’s things out of his apartment. When officers arrived, Owen stated that he didn’t see Ayres in his apartment but that he had heard his things being thrown around.
Laura Brown, Staff Writer
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