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Caroline man gets 47-year sentence for burglary, larceny, assault

Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Andrew Jay Harris, 25, of Hustle got a 47-year sentence in Caroline Circuit Court on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to burglary, grand larceny, property damage and assault with a vehicle.

Caroline Circuit Court Judge Patricia Kelly suspended the sentence for 43 years, meaning he will have four active years in jail. He still faces trial for similar charges in other counties.

He was caught in September 2013 after a police chase from King George County to Caroline County. While fleeing police officers, he drove the wrong way on the divided highway portion of U.S. 17 near Port Royal and caused a head-on collision that sent three to the hospital, including himself.

He drove a Cavalier northbound in the southbound lanes when his vehicle collided head-on with a Subaru station wagon. The impact sent the Subaru to the bottom of a steep embankment where it broke through a fence and came to rest upside down. Harris’ car wound up upright on the roadway, but with major damage to the front.

Wesley Robert Krum, 57, of Danville, Pa., was driving the Subaru, and he and a passenger were taken to Mary Washington Hospital.

During Harris’ trial, Diane Abato, Caroline’s deputy Commonwealth’s attorney, told Kelly that Krum sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung as a result of the accident. Krum still has pain in his arm and is still undergoing physical therapy.

Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, two counts of grand larceny, property damage (with a vehicle) and assault (with a vehicle) in Caroline County. He’s also charged with six counts of breaking and entering and six counts of grand larceny in Essex County and comes up for trial on April 23 for those charges. In King George County, he is charged with four burglaries and four counts of grand larceny with intent to sell, four counts of possession of burglary tools, four counts of destruction to property, assault and eluding police.

During Harris’ trial, Abato read a victim impact statement from the owners of a Caroline County home burglarized by Harris. The adult child of the homeowner is autistic and the burglary has terrorized and devastated the man. The autistic man is driven to constantly check all locks on doors and windows repetitiously throughout the day and evening since August, and this is something he never had done before.

“This has injured this autistic person permanently,” Abato said.

In an interview, Abato noted that Harris “never apologized” to the victims in the courtroom, even when the judge asked him if he had anything to say. Harris “just sat there with a pouty look on his face.”