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Dog box thief guilty

A Suffolk man shot in the head during a botched attempt to steal from a retired police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from that incident and another theft.

Quamaine Lamar Lassiter, 20, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny of a dog box that belongs to retired Suffolk officer Charles A. Duck. As part of a plea deal, a charge of entering property with intent to damage will not be prosecuted.

Duck shot Lassiter in the head after he awoke in the middle of the night on Jan. 13 because his dogs were barking. He looked outside and saw Lassiter attempting to load the dog box from his yard onto a pickup truck.

Duck retrieved a gun, opened a window and yelled at the man to move to the front of the truck. When Lassiter instead leaped into his truck as if to get a weapon, Duck fired several shots at the vehicle. A bullet hit Lassiter in the head and lodged under his skin but did not penetrate the skull.

Duck was not charged in the incident, because it was ruled self-defense. Lassiter had repeatedly claimed he was shot by someone passing him in a vehicle as he walked along Lake Kennedy Drive.

Lassiter also pleaded guilty to grand larceny of $350,000 worth of steam turbine valves used by the U.S. Navy. He and another man stole them from a Dill Road business and pawned them at scrap metal yards for a total of $133. Charges of conspiracy to commit larceny, larceny with intent to sell and possession of stolen property with intent to sell were not prosecuted as part of the plea deal.

The other man charged in that incident, Lamar Elliott, 20, has pleaded not guilty and is set for trial Aug. 4.

Lassiter is set for sentencing on both of his guilty pleas on Aug. 1.