orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

August 7, 2008

Coppage pleads guilty to burglary of a habitation

Richard Coppage, 52, of Orange pleaded guilty Thursday to the August 2007 burglary of a habitation before Judge Dennis Powell in the 163rd District Court.

He will return for sentencing at a later date to be determined. He could receive up to 20 years in prison for the second degree felony.

The charges stem from an incident when the homeowner returned to his residence and noticed his dog was not in the room it was kept in. Suddenly, the lights went out as the breaker was flipped. At that point, the man knew someone else was inside the house with him. He then ran outside and hid across the street to wait and see who would come out of his house next.

A few minutes later Coppage was seen running out of the house and going to his own residence.

When the residents later entered the house they found remnants of what Coppage left behind. Body fluids were discovered on a towel by the family pictures that were hung on the wall.

When deputies arrived they collected the evidence and sent it to the lab for analysis.

Also found in the house was a hot iron placed on a woman’s shirt which was smoking from the heat.

The homeowner made an inventory of his house and noticed a watch, two cameras and a camcorder were missing. The items were later located in a bag behind Coppage’s house.

In addition, deputies later returned three watches to the homeowner that had been missing for more than a year, according to the woman homeowner during a previous interview.

According to reports, while deputies were speaking to Coppage they noted he appeared to be “very sweaty” and he “had fresh mud on his feet.”

During the Miranda Warning interview, Coppage confessed to entering his neighbor’s residence with the intent to steal property.

According to the woman, she has always felt like there was a “peeping tom.” Twice they have come home to the bathroom window propped open and the back door wide open, she added.



Reach this reporter at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2613, or dschamber@orangeleader.com

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