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Woman guilty in morning burglary

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A woman on trial for breaking into the home of a sleeping elderly Fredericksburg woman early May 20 decided Wednesday not to take her chances with a jury after all.

Lauren Nicole Tyler, 28, of Fredericksburg had indicated earlier that she planned to use some sort of sleepwalking defense.

Instead, she entered pleas to three charges in Fredericksburg Circuit Court, abruptly ending her trial.

The jury was about to hear closing arguments when Tyler accepted convictions for burglary, felony destruction of property and interfering with the property rights of another.

Tyler entered Alford pleas to the charges, meaning that while she doesn’t admit guilt, she acknowledges the evidence is sufficient for convictions. Judge Gordon Willis will sentence her Dec. 13.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Kevin Gross, homeowner Nancy Blair was sleeping about 5:30 that morning in her Confederate Ridge home when her dog, “Sir John,” woke her up by barking.

Blair went to her kitchen and found Tyler there dressed in dark clothing and holding a flashlight.

Tyler mumbled something about having to use the bathroom before Blair escorted her to the door. Tyler then hurriedly left and Blair called police and nearby family members.

The evidence showed she had entered the home by throwing a bird bath through a window. Nothing was taken, and Tyler left her wet pants and boots at the scene.

Sgt. David Reilly found Tyler less than an hour later walking on nearby Twin Lakes Drive. He said Tyler was wearing shorts and some oversized bedroom slippers.

Reilly quoted Tyler as saying, “I know why you want to talk to me I don’t know how I ended up in that sunroom.”

In a taped interview with Detective Wayne Hunnicutt later that day, Tyler admitted breaking into the home, but never said why.

She made comments such as “I wasn’t in my right frame of mind” and “It’s like a surreal thing that was happening.”

A sobbing Tyler also expressed remorse for “scaring” Blair.

Attorney Christopher Reyes is representing Tyler.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404