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Caldwell County Man Receives Prison Term After Guilty Plea To Stolen Vehicle, Drug, Fraud Charges
Austin Lee Barnette
Courtesy of Nathan Key, District Attorney's Office, 36th Prosecutorial District

Caldwell County Man Receives Prison Term After Guilty Plea To Stolen Vehicle, Drug, Fraud Charges

27-year-old Austin Lee Barnette of Granite Falls, will spend at least six years in prison following his conviction for multiple criminal offenses and admission of habitual felon status.

Barnette was given an active prison term of six to nine years after he pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, breaking and entering to a motor vehicle and three counts of financial card fraud. The guilty plea was entered during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday (December 8).

The Honorable Craig Croom, Superior Court Judge from Wake County, imposed the sentence for the defendant, who will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Barnette’s sentence length was enhanced because of prior felony convictions for breaking and entering (January 2018), breaking and entering to a motor vehicle (October 2016) and possession of a stolen motor vehicle (March 2016), all in Caldwell County.

The defendant committed the offenses that led to his conviction between October 2020 and May 2021. The cases were investigated by Hickory Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Howard Wellons handled prosecution for the State.