A man convicted eight years ago in Swain County of indecent liberties with a child failed to notify authorities he had moved from Cherokee County to Jackson County.
North Carolina requires convicted sex offenders to keep address changes current and to provide written notice within 10 days.
District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said Robert Dewayne Lowery, 27, pleaded guilty last week in Jackson County Superior Court to failure to register new address by a sex offender.
Additionally, he admitted to firearm by a felon, felony larceny and habitual felon.
Habitual felon status enhances punishment decisions and can apply after a defendant is convicted of three felonies. Habitual felons face sentencing at a felony level four classes higher than the underlying felony convictions.
In addition to felony indecent liberties with child, in May 3, 2017, Lowery was convicted of felony uttering a forged instrument. On May 29, 2018, he was convicted of felony sex offender on child premises.
The latest charges involve:
• On Sept. 14, 2019, Sylva police officers identified Lowery while conducting surveillance for drug activity. He carried a .22-caliber pistol loaded with three rounds of ammunition in his right front pocket. State law prohibits felons from having firearms.
• On June 28, 2020, Lowery helped steal a riding mower and push mower from a store in Sylva.
• On Feb. 4 of this year, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (which maintains the county’s sex-offender registry) arrested Lowery for failing to register his new address in Cullowhee.
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Bradley B. Letts last week sentenced Lowery to serve a prison term of at least 75 months and up to 102 months in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections.
Assistant District Attorney Chris Matheson prosecuted the case.