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Soap Lake man imprisoned after guilty plea

Staff Writer | November 9, 2020 1:00 AM

EPHRATA — A Soap Lake man has been sentenced to a little under two years in prison after pleading guilty following an incident in which he attempted to flee the Walmart in Ephrata with a shopping cart carrying around $1,000 of merchandise.

Brian Clark, 37, pleaded guilty in late October to second-degree burglary and second-degree theft charges and was sentenced to 21 months in prison. The extensive sentence he received was due in part to his criminal history, including previous convictions for assault, rape, assault of a child with sexual motivation and failure to register as a sex offender.

Officers were called to Walmart in Ephrata on Sept. 5, 2019, for a report of a man who had fled through an emergency exit with a shopping cart full of stolen items. When a store employee shouted at the man to stop, he abandoned the shopping cart and continued to flee through a neighboring field, according to a police report.

As officers fanned out through nearby neighborhoods, Clark was located smoking a cigarette in a corner of a residence’s backyard and wearing clothes that matched the suspect’s description, according to court documents.