Guilty verdict in 2012 electrocution, copper theft case
March 27, 2014 at 12:20 AM CDT - Updated July 21 at 5:18 PM
After deliberating for only 25 minutes, a Dallam County jury reached a guilty verdict. Dennis May was convicted of tampering with physical evidence in the 2012 Electrocution case.
Chief Deputy for Dallam County Sheriff's Office, Kevin Martin says after investigating the case, it was a copper theft incident that just went wrong.
Louis Kelly and May were stealing copper from electric poles. That's when Kelly was electrocuted.
"It was just an accident, that part but it wasn't because they were attempting to take the wire off the poles," said Martin.
At the time of this incident, copper theft was a growing issue in Dalhart. A scrap metal company in Dalhart say they have their own polices to help prevent metal theft.
Co-manager of Dalhart Crushing, John Peoples says, "We will not take copper, brass, aluminum because 9 times out of 10, it's stolen if it's in a large quantity. If it ends up in the bunch, no big deal, but we will not buy precious metal."
Dallam County Sheriff's Office say copper theft has gone down within this year and they've been able to monitor it. "We patrol the farms, especially after dark and just look for people out near the sprinklers," said Martin.
A sentencing hearing will be held next month for May who could face 2-20 years in prison.