A man from Monett who is suspected of stealing cattle and farm equipment in several counties received a 30-year prison sentence in Barry County on Tuesday. Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox says he expects Howard Perryman, 65, will have to serve 80 percent of that sentence before being eligible for parole. That means he would be close to 88 years old, when his time served in county jails is counted.
Perryman pleaded guilty to five charges last April – four counts of receiving stolen property and one count of tampering with a motor vehicle. Investigators say Perryman and an accomplice stole a tractor and other farm equipment in Barry County in 2010. Perryman’s plea came as his trial was about to start, and was not part of a plea deal.
This is at least the second time that Perryman has gone into the prison system. He pleaded guilty in 1998 for receiving stolen property in Greene County, and received a seven-year prison sentence.
Perryman’s co-defendant, Richard Hert, pleaded guilty in 2012 for his role in the thefts. He received seven-year concurrent prison sentences for four crimes, but is now on five years of probation after serving 120 days of shock prison time. Officers arrested them in 2010 as they were trying to sell the stolen equipment to a police informant.
In 2013, Perryman was arrested in Greene County and charged with stealing cattle and farm equipment. He was the focus of an investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol and several sheriffs’ departments that recovered at least $100,000 in stolen property. He is linked to a cattle theft in May 2012 in northwestern Greene County after criminalists say DNA tests on a paper towel left at the scene matched Perryman’s DNA.
Perryman’s theft charges in Greene and Lawrence counties are not set for trial. He also faces more charges in Barry County; those also are not set for trial.