Man scared away by armed 11-year-old during break-in sentenced - WNEM TV 5

Man scared away by armed 11-year-old during break-in sentenced to prison

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James Wasson (Source: Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept) James Wasson (Source: Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept)
Rhonda Steward (Source: Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept) Rhonda Steward (Source: Lapeer County Sheriff's Dept)

A case that captured national attention after an 11-year-old girl used a shotgun to scare away an intruder has come to a close.

On April 15, James Wasson,54, pled no contest to multiple counts of home invasion.

He was taken into custody shortly after investigators said he attempted to break into a Lapeer County home, where an 11-year-old girl was home alone.

The child hid in a bedroom closet with a shotgun, police said. The bedroom and the closet were eventually forced open by the suspect.

The 11-year-old aimed the gun at the suspect and the suspect fled from the residence, police said, adding the child was not harmed during the incident.

"Her father is an avid hunter, she is familiar with weapons and inside that closet is where the gun case is," Lapeer County Sheriff Detective sergeant Jason Parks said.

Wasson and Rhonda Steward, 33, of Detroit, were arrested in Imlay City about 30 minutes after the incident.

The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department said Wasson subsequently confessed to five other home invasions in the County.

“Wasson was previously a resident of Oakland County,” said Lapeer County Prosecutor, Tim Turkelson. “While our office does not think lightly of anyone who commits crimes, we take particular offense to any individual who enters our County to prey on our communities and residents.”

Wasson was sentenced on eight separate criminal files that included 18 felony offenses.

He was sentenced to 25 to 40 years in prison. H will be 80 years old when he is eligible for release.

Steward pleaded on charges of second-degree home invasion and concealing stolen property of $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000 in connection with two break-ins. She was sentenced in Nov. 2015 to a minimum of three-years, and a maximum of 15-years in prison.

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