OXFORD – A man is accused of breaking a window and the Eighth Commandment at a church over the weekend.

Jim Marion Shields, 43, whose last listed address is in Carlsbad, N.M., is accused of breaking into the Oxford Advent Christian Church on Friday night.

Arresting officer James Richardson said Shields is believed to be homeless and stayed in the church overnight. Richardson said Shields broke a window and cut a screen to get into the building. Once there, he turned on kitchen stoves for heat and ate some of the church’s food.

Rev. Frank R. Jewett said Shields was discovered the next day by masons who were doing work for the church. Richardson said they confronted Shields about his presence and he left.

Richardson later found Shields walking on Main Street in Norway. Richardson arrested Shields after questioning him about the incident. He is charged with burglary, theft by deception and criminal mischief.

“I used to have a plaque up in our house about the unseen guest at every meal,” joked Jewett. “I guess he was our unseen guest.”

Jewett said he is more concerned than angry, and hoped to talk with Shields at the Oxford County Jail. He said the only reason to press charges would be to help Shields, not to “get even” with him.

“We all said had he asked any of us for food, we probably would have made him dinner and given him a place to stay,” Jewett said.

Shields was held on $2,500 bail or $20,000 real estate, and had not posted bail as of Monday afternoon. He is scheduled to appear in Oxford County Superior Court on July 5.


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