Shoeprint leads to arrest of Forsyth teen

Published 11:19 am Thursday, July 7, 2016

A shoeprint and some legwork led to the arrest of a Winston-Salem teenager who was sentenced in Davie Superior Court June 15.

Jabriel Aquan Coulson, 19, was on probation in Forsyth County for breaking and entering at the time he broke into the home of a family off Sunnydell Lane in Mocksville.

According to Karen Biernacki, assistant district attorney, the mother and son were away from the home May 12, 2015, and when they returned, the front door was open and their dog, which normally stays inside, was outside.

She called the police, who discovered a screen was removed from a window in back of the home. There was a footprint on a panel of the front door, which had been kicked in. Jewelry and electronics, including a computer, were missing.

Two days later, the computer was found in an abandoned van in Winston-Salem, and when police entered the serial number into a computer database, they realized it was the one that had been stolen in Mocksville.

The van, Biernacki said, was “potentially connected to an ongoing homicide investigation.”

It was discovered Coulson had pawned the jewelry the same day he stole it.

He was placed in the detention center in Forsyth County, and officers from Mocksville went there to interrogate him. At first, Biernacki said, he was not truthful and told officers someone had given him the jewelry to pawn, but he later “changed his demeanor and began to answer truthfully.”

Coulson’s shoes were taken when he was jailed, and detectives took the panel from the Jimerson’s door to the jail, matching his shoes to the print left on the door.

“That was some good down-to-earth police work,” Biernacki said.

The teen was charged breaking and/or entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and habitual breaking and entering, all felonies.

Coulson’s attorney, Ryan Addison, said he couldn’t determine what happened between the “violent invasive nature of the crime” last year and this year. “The young man I’ve met is very different from the young man who committed the crime. He is very soft-spoken, very polite and well mannered. He has potential,” Addison told Judge Ted S. Royster Jr.

Royster addressed Coulson.

“Occasionally, certain cases bother me. You are a 19 year old. You are obviously very polite and nice. I would like to know why, when you are on probation and are being given a chance, why you would do this. Is there any way we can save you or are you destined to be a criminal? Your demeanor and age don’t seem to fit with the crime.”

Coulson told Royster being incarcerated has given him time to think about his life and realize he does not want to be a criminal.

“I have two young-uns of my own, and my younger brother is going wild. I know for a fact that was my doing, and I want to apologize to him. All I want to do now is be successful,” Coulson said.

Royster reminded him if he continued his actions, he could come across a homeowner who is armed, but if he would try to stay on track, “people will help you if they see you are trying to do the right thing.”

He sentenced Coulson, on the habitual breaking and entering charge, to 27 to 45 months in prison, with credit for the 99 days he spent awaiting trial. He must pay $480 for his court-appointed attorney. The other two charges were dismissed as part of the plea arrangement.