Man Represents Himself at Trial, Gets 9+ Years in Prison

John Michael Wall, 56, of Hickory, was given an active prison sentence of nine to 12 years after a Catawba County jury found him guilty of possession of stolen goods and determined that he had attained status as a habitual felon.

The Honorable R. Stuart Albright, Superior Court Judge from Guilford County, imposed the prison term on Friday, November 1, 2019, to conclude a five-day trial in Catawba County Superior Court.

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections at the end of a three- to five-year sentence he currently is serving from a June 2018 plea in Burke County to attempted felony larceny and admission of habitual felon status.

The defendant chose to represent himself during the trial and even took the stand to offer up his defense to the 12-member jury panel.

Wall’s sentence length for his latest conviction in Catawba County was enhanced by prior felony convictions for breaking/entering (December 1987), escape from state prison (July 1989), both in Catawba County, and flee to elude arrest (August 2002) in Burke County.

The verdict from the jury came as a result of the defendant selling coins to a Hickory pawn shop on November 20, 2015, that had been stolen from a Conover antique store the previous day.

The jury found him guilty of that crime and then determined he had attained habitual felon status based on his prior criminal record and arguments offered by the State.

The case was investigated by Officer Ryan Davis of Conover Police Department and prosecuted for the State by Assistant District Attorney Melanie Earles.

CONTACT: Nathan Key

Phone: 828-695-6193