An eight-time convicted felon will serve 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole after DNA linked him to a burglary that occurred last fall, according to Douglas County District Attorney David McDade.
Michael William Donnelly, 44, of Dallas, GA., received a 20-year sentence last week after entering a guilty plea to charges of burglary and theft by taking. The defendant was sentenced as a repeat offender, which means the first 10 years of his 20-year term will be served behind bars.
Donnelly’s theft by taking felony conviction in 1995 launched a criminal career that extends over three decades. According to Assistant District Attorney Duncan Munn, a majority of the defendant’s criminal record centers around theft. Donnelly’s latest conviction occurred while the victim was away from her home last Thanksgiving. As the victim was celebrating the holidays out of town, the defendant broke into her Douglasville residence and stole more than $1,300 worth of goods, including jewelry and a laptop. Authorities at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office weren’t notified about the incident until the victim returned home on Dec. 2.
A break in the case occurred later that night when investigators collected blood samples from a rear window that the defendant had broken through to gain entry into the house. The samples were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where personnel in the Department of Forensic Science matched the DNA to Donnelly, an inmate at the Dodge State Prison who was serving a sentence for a burglary he committed in Paulding County a month after this burglary.