Solicitor: Convicted sex offender sentenced in botched armed rob - FOX Carolina 21

Solicitor: Convicted sex offender sentenced in botched armed robbery after DNA from cigarette butt links him to crime

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Gerald Caldwell (Source: Solicitor Barry Barnette) Gerald Caldwell (Source: Solicitor Barry Barnette)
BOILING SPRINGS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Solicitor Barry Barnette said a man had been sentenced after accepting responsibility for a botched armed hold-up at an Upstate home.

According to Barnette, 53-year-old Gerald Caldwell pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary, kidnapping and attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.

Caldwell, who is also a convicted sex offender, will be required to serve 85% of that sentence before becoming eligible for release.

Barnette said on September 22, 2016, Caldwell approached a male homeowner burning yard debris in Boiling Springs and tried to rob him at gunpoint, pointing a gun at him for over an hour and forcing the victim inside his residence.

During the robbery attempt, Barnette said Caldwell attempted to steal a truck and a motorcycle, but neither were in working condition. 

According to a report from the solicitor's office, Caldwell forced the victim to show him his wallet to prove there was no money inside, and threatened the victim before fleeing the home.

The report said Caldwell even drank a Coca-Cola and smoked cigarettes and threw them away in the burning yard debris during the attempted robbery. Deputies were able to connect Caldwell to the incident through the description given by the victim and a DNA sample taken from those cigarette butts.

During court proceedings, Caldwell claimed he had no recollection of the incident because he was high on methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

“The victim has had trouble sleeping after this incident, but now that Caldwell will be behind bars for a long time, I know the victim will sleep soundly tonight,” said Assistant Solicitor Eddie Hunter.

Caldwell’s prior criminal record also includes convictions for criminal domestic violence, driving under the influence and 2 counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. 

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