Smoky Mountain News
A previously convicted Bakersfield man who went on North Carolina school property in violation of his sex offender registration requirements will serve the maximum possible prison sentence in that state after pleading to multiple charges.
Jack Echols, 39, was sentenced as a habitual felon and will spend the next 10 years in the N.C. Department of Corrections. A prosecutor can seek habitual felon status for defendants who are either convicted or have pleaded guilty to three felony offenses in federal or state courts.
Echols was seen on video at an elementary school, dropping off his his girlfriend’s son for class. Sex offender registry requirements stipulate convicted sex offenders cannot be on school grounds, with certain exceptions.
Echols used a fake name to bypass the school’s visitor-management system, authorities said.
In December 2004, Echols was convicted in Bakersfield of sex with a minor. After moving to Nebraska, he twice violated that state’s sex offender registration act. He later moved to North Carolina.
“This is a significant amount of prison time,” said Macon County District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch. “We hope it sends a clear and unmistakable statement that this office will not tolerate convicted sex offenders violating the state’s registration requirements.”