59-year-old Lester Leon Craft of Hickory, was found guilty of failing to comply with sex offender registration guidelines by a jury during Catawba County Superior Court last week. Craft also admitted his habitual felon status, enhancing the sentence that he was given by the Honorable Forrest D. Bridges, Superior Court Judge from Cleveland County, on August 2.
Judge Bridges sentenced Craft to a prison term of six to eight years. Craft’s sentence was enhanced by his habitual felon status, which includes prior felony convictions for breaking and entering in Catawba County (March 1990), possession of stolen goods in Catawba County (January 1999) and breaking and entering in Iredell County (August 2003). This is his second stint serving prison time as a habitual felon.
When Craft was released from prison in March 2016, he registered an address with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office as he was required to do. However, he never lived at the address he gave. He was afforded opportunities to correct the issue but did not and was arrested for providing false information regarding his sex offender registration.
Darren Lackey handled the investigation for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Michael Van Buren prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.