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Granite Falls man sentenced to prison for multiple offenses

CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (May 1, 2017)…A Granite Falls man was given an active prison sentence of five to seven years after pleading guilty to felony larceny, felony hit and run, and admitting his status as a habitual felon during Caldwell County Superior Court on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Eric James Haas, 33, was given his prison term by the Honorable Linwood O. Foust, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County. He will serve the sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

Judge Foust also gave Haas a three-year sentence for a driving while impaired (DWI) plea. That sentence will be served concurrent to his term of five to seven years and carries a mandatory $10,000 fine.

Haas’ sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status that included prior felony convictions for possession of stolen goods in Caldwell County (May 2006), larceny of motor vehicle in Caldwell County (November 2007) and possession of burglary tools in Catawba County (April 2013).

On April 30, 2016, Haas broke into the Public Works plant in Rhodhiss and stole a truck belonging to the town. Rhodhiss Police Department and Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department received information regarding the theft, and Det. Chris Everhart located the defendant. Haas was arrested on an outstanding warrant and returned the keys to the truck.

The DWI plea and sentence stemmed from a March 28, 2015, incident when Deputy John Martin of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office stopped Haas along Morganton Boulevard for driving in a reckless manner. Martin smelled alcohol and obtained a blood test showing the defendant’s alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit.

The cases were prosecuted by Andrew Jennings and Jennifer Mathews of the District Attorney’s Office.