MOUNT IDA – A jury of 10 women and two men acquitted Roy Ray “Rayford” Cogburn of a class D felony charge of breaking or entering Friday, but did find him guilty of one count of criminal trespass.
He was also acquitted of criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor. Cogburn was represented by Brian Johnson in the case.
The charges stemmed from an alleged break in at a building belonging to Barr Memorial Presbyterian Church in Norman. Prosecuting attorney Andy Riner argued that on the day of March 8, 2019, Cogburn unlawfully entered the aforementioned building where he came in contact with David Lysobey, a man who was working at the building at the time of the alleged incident.
Lysobey took the stand and shared that the building was once used to house the Greta Lane Food Pantry, but is being renovated to be used as a hostel. It was while he was working on the renovation that Lysobey stated that he encountered Cogburn in the building.
He shared that he had entered the building in the morning and had noticed a four wheeler parked by the back dock of the building. He said that upon entry to the building he noticed a box, or crate filled with various items from the building in the kitchen. He stated that he called his wife and asked what it was for and she had no knowledge of the box or its contents. He also noticed a zip drive missing from a radio that he used.
Lysobey stated that around 11:30 a.m. he took a break. While sitting at a table in the front room a man, whom he identified as Cogburn, walked into the room. He stated that it startled them both, but the man was not aggressive. He asked the man if he had seen a zip drive and Lysobey stated Cogburn pulled one from his pocket and gave it to Lysobey. Shortly after this Lysobey said that Cogburn left.
It was only after their interaction that Lysobey noticed the door jam had been damaged.
Lysobey stated that there was a room in the back of the building with a bed in it. He believed Cogburn had broken in and stayed the night in the building.
Lysobey added that there was no way for Cogburn to have entered the building without him knowing it and he had not given Cogburn permission to be there.
Lysobey stated that he then called his wife and filed a report with the sheriff’s office.
In cross examination Johnson asked Lysobey if he worked at the building every day. Lysobey stated that he was there most days. He also asked if other people worked there to which Lysobey replied two or three. Lysobey did state that he and his wife were the only people who could authorize someone to stay there and neither had given Cogburn permission.
Johnson brought out that Lysobey and Cogburn had a reasonable conversation. He also asked about how many photos were presented to Lysobey by the police for identification. Lysobey replied one.
Cogburn’s uncle, James Cogburn, stated that he had seen Roy Cogburn on a four wheeler matching the description of the one seen at Greta Lane the day of the incident.
County Investigator Robert Loudermilk testified that he encountered a man driving a four wheeler the day of the incident. He stated that he made contact with a man wearing a toboggan which covered his face. The man was riding a four wheeler matching the description of the one located at Greta Lane. Loudermilk shared that the man drove away on the four wheeler and was not apprehended at that time.
Johnson asked Loudermilk in cross examination if he could visually identify the man he saw as Roy Cogburn. Loudermilk said no because his face was covered.
Roy Cogburn did not take the stand.
Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner argued in closing arguments that the breaking or entering charge comes down to intent. To be convicted of breaking or entering a person must enter, or attempt to enter a structure with intent to commit criminal activity. Riner then pointed to the box of items found in the building. He also pointed out that Cogburn had the zip drive that was missing from the radio in the building. Riner argued that this was proof that Cogburn had the intent to commit criminal activity when he entered the building.
Johnson argued in his closing argument in regards of criminal mischief that it had not been established when the door had been broken. There was no evidence presented linking Cogburn to the broken door.
As to the breaking or entering felony charge, he argued that there was no proof of intent to commit criminal activity. He stated that under the assumption his client was the man in the building all he had done was sleep overnight in the building. He stated that if Cogburn had been looking to steal something he could have walked out with things, but didn’t.
After deliberations the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on both the breaking or entering charge, or the criminal mischief charge. They did find him guilty of the lesser included offense of criminal trespass, which is a class A misdemeanor.
In the sentencing phase of the trial Riner pointed to Cogburn’s extensive criminal history.
Cogburn’s history of felony convictions includes eight felony convictions in Pike County, one in Montgomery County and one in Howard County according to the ADC website.
Johnson argued that Cogburn wasn’t on trial for his prior convictions and asked the jury to provide a sentence fitting the current conviction.
Cogburn was sentenced to the maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a $2,500 fine.
He is currently housed in Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility in Pine Bluff. Once released from ADC he will report to the Montgomery County Jail to serve his one year sentence.