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TEXARKANA -- A fourth defendant has been sentenced in the theft of valuable sports memorabilia and thousands of dollars in family heirlooms from a storage unit in Miller County.

Dannie Tackett, 53, was sentenced to a 30-year prison term after pleading guilty to breaking and entering and theft of property as a habitual offender during a hearing before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom. Tackett is the last of four men sentenced in the case.

The men stole highly valuable sports memorabilia, an antique heirloom piano and family keepsakes from C&C Storage in Texarkana over several days in November 2016.

David Brandon Looney, 37, was found guilty of theft of property in March 2018 and sentenced to a maximum 10-year term. Looney did not have a criminal history as extensive as some of his co-defendants, so he faced a lesser punishment range.

Curtis Edward Bates, 33, pleaded guilty in February 2018 and received a 30-year term. Robert Emery White, 42, pleaded guilty in April and received a 20-year term.

The sentencing was held Feb. 25.

Tackett's prior convictions include escape from a correctional facility, possession of a controlled substance, breaking and entering and theft of property. At the time of the store unit burglaries, Tackett was free on bond in a drug case and on parole in Texas on a weapons offense.

At Looney's trial, victims Rex and Robin Murdock testified about the loss of the items that, for them, had more than monetary value. The Murdocks sued all four men in a civil action and were awarded close to $200,000 in actual and punitive damages. Whether they will ever be able to collect any of the judgment remains unknown, as all four men are now serving prison sentences.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chuck Black said victims of the theft testified about a piano that had been passed down in the family for years, which they believe ended up in a garbage dump after the thieves abandoned it at a different storage facility in Ashdown.

Sports memorabilia, including baseball cards signed by legends Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, were never recovered. Among the stolen antiques, valuable baseball cards and furniture were baby clothes and shoes worn by children and cherished by their parents.

Metro on 03/11/2019

Print Headline: Fourth man sentenced in theft of heirlooms, memorabilia

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