Man wins trip to prison after losing casino card at crime scene

Published: Jan. 22, 2016 at 6:08 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2016 at 8:50 PM CST
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's one thing to break into a man's home. It's another to wear his shirt, eat his food, and drink his wine. A Biloxi man is accused of doing all that and more, and now will spend the next eight years behind bars thinking about that mistake.

Thursday night, a jury found Edward Parker Eldridge, 61, guilty of Burglary of a Dwelling. The crime happened in June of 2014 at a cottage on Beach Boulevard.

"The victim returned home from work and saw that his house had been broken into and rummaged through. All of the homeowner's property had been scattered across the cottage and the defendant made himself at home by eating a ham sandwich and drinking the victim's wine," said ADA Beth McFadyen who tried the case with Ian Baker.

While cleaning up the mess, the homeowner found a casino player's club card with the name "Edward Eldridge" on it. He took the card and other evidence to the police department where officers noticed someone by that name had been stopped by police in that exact same area, on the same day, on an unrelated report of trespassing.

The victim told jurors Eldridge was even found wearing his shirt. The victim said it was easy to recognize because it had the unique name and logo of his family's farm in north Mississippi.

Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced Eldridge to 20 years in prison, with 12 years suspended. He'll serve eight years behind bars, and three years on probation.

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