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John Clayborne Kerr was sentenced yesterday to time already served, for his attempted burglary of an inhabited home.

A Carlsbad housewife caught the young man crawling into her doggie door last June, and the man fled on foot when he was discovered, but was soon apprehended by local police.

In a plea deal, John Clayborne Kerr, now 20, admitted, “I entered a residence with the intent to commit theft, unlawfully and willfully.” He admitted it was an occupied residence, first degree burglary. In the deal, a separate charge of trespass was dropped. When Kerr fled the scene of the doggie-door-burglary attempt, he then entered another home in the same neighborhood, according to police, where he asked the surprised residents if he could use their phone. They called police instead. Kerr ran away again, according to investigators.

John Clayborne Kerr was released from custody when he made his plea deal on August 27. Yesterday afternoon, October 1, he returned to court and stood before a judge to hear his sentence formally pronounced.

First the judge reprimanded Kerr for his choice of clothing. Superior Court Judge K. Michael Kirkman wanted to know if John Clayborne Kerr had just come from the beach, or if he expected to go to the beach after sentencing. Kerr was wearing a t-shirt and what could have been shorts or long swim trunks in the courtroom. Private defense attorney James Dicks assured the judge that the young man meant no disrespect, he explained that is how young people are raised now, and the judge opined that might be part of the problem. John Clayborne Kerr joined by informing the judge that he did not own any “dress shirts.”

The judge held to the written plea deal, and sentenced Kerr to time already served -- which was 153 days in local jail, assessed an $800 fine, ordered 3 years probation, and told Kerr to stay away from the victim housewife and her home.


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