Habitual criminal sentenced, record dates back to 1980s

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A man pleads guilty as a habitual criminal and is sentenced seven years in prison.

District Attorney Scott Thomas says Walter Bryant, Jr., 51, of New Bern, pleaded guilty to Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  He was sentenced as an Habitual Felon to more than seven years in prison.

The case started in October 2011, when a New Bern police officer found Bryant riding a bicycle at night without a headlight.  Bryant was uncooperative and incoherent when speaking with the officer. His behavior was such that the officer conducted a pat-down search for weapons and found Bryant in possession of a box cutter, a push rod used for smoking crack cocaine, and a small plastic bag containing crack cocaine.

In court, Bryant entered a guilty plea and admitted his Habitual Felon status.  His prior record, which began in the 1980s, includes convictions for sexual assault, drug offenses, and forgery.

Bryant was sentenced to 84 to 114 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay a $600 SBI lab fee, court costs and attorney's fees.

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