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Sex offender sentenced as habitual felon

WINDSOR – A man previously convicted of engaging in sexual activity with an eight-year-old received an active prison sentence for up to nearly 10 years here last Thursday in a session of Bertie County Criminal Superior Court.

Lemarshall Lorenzo Figgs, 41, pled guilty to failure to report a new address as a registered sex offender and to the status of being a habitual felon. 

Judge Quentin Sumner sentenced Figgs to 87-117 months in the Department of Corrections where he will serve a minimum active sentence of 7.25 years to 9.75 years.

In 2009 in Wake County, Figgs was convicted of indecent liberties of a child and spent two years and six months in prison, after which he was required to register as a sex offender.

Figgs relocated to Bertie County in 2016, but within a month he had moved and made his whereabouts unknown to the sex offender registration officer and his probation officer. He was arrested in Raleigh in July of the same year.

He had previously been convicted of failure to register as a sex offender, and larceny after breaking and entering in Wake County in 2014; felonious larceny in Wake County in 2009; and conspiracy to sell/deliver cocaine in Wake County in 2006.

Since Figgs’ release from prison in 2011, this is the third time he has been charged with failing to properly register with the Sex Offender Registry.

“The Sex Offender Registry is a valuable tool in protecting the public in general, and specifically children, from persons who have been deemed to be a potential danger,” said local District Attorney Valerie Asbell. “The public is entitled to know who is living beside them, and because the overwhelming majority of children are sexually abused by a person they know, parents can and should check the sex offender registry for anyone their children spends time with.”

Asbell advised the public can search the Sex Offender Registry by name or by address at www.sexoffender.ncsbi.gov/.

“I am committed to holding sex offenders accountable to the minimal requirements of the Sex Offender Registry,” Asbell stated. “They committed the crime that landed them on the Registry, and under my watch, they will comply with the conditions or face prison.

“I am also committed to holding habitual felons accountable for their lengthy felony records,” she added. “Mr. Figgs continued to commit felonies after he was initially convicted of the sex crime of indecent liberties with a child; therefore, his status as an habitual felon enhanced his sentence.  My first priority as District Attorney has always been and will continue to be the protection of our citizens and especially our youth who are the most vulnerable to these types of criminals.”

The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry was started in 1996 to help inform and protect the public from individuals who have been convicted of certain types of sexual offenses and/or certain offenses against children. Upon conviction of such a crime, the sentencing judge makes a determination as to whether the offender must register, how long they must register for, and if they shall be subject to satellite based monitoring.

Once enrolled in the sex offender registry, the Sheriff of the county where the offender resides makes periodic checks to verify the offender has not moved. If an offender moves, he has a continuing duty to inform law enforcement of his whereabouts.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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