PARIS – A West Paris couple accused in connection with a break-in at a pastor’s home while he was conducting a church service Sunday remained in jail Tuesday, according to officials.

James Tapley, 45, and his wife, Jessica, 36, are being held at the Oxford County Jail on $250 cash bail each. He is charged with burglary and theft, and violating conditions of release; she with violating probation.

According to an affidavit by Oxford County Deputy Stephen Witham, he and Deputy Derek McDonald responded to a report of a man and a woman seen at the home of pastor Lloyd Waterhouse at 58 High St. in West Paris on Sunday. A neighbor told them the suspects ran away when they were confronted.

Witham wrote that he and Maine State Trooper Jon Russell tracked the suspects’ footprints down High Street and were able to learn their identifies from witnesses and clothing descriptions. A report from the Oxford County Regional Communications said James Tapley was in a blue Mercury Sable heading toward West Paris.

When Witham pulled it over and asked Tapley what happened at the High Street residence, Tapley said he had permission from the homeowner to borrow snowshoes and never entered the garage, according to the affidavit.

Witham contacted Waterhouse, who said he had once given the Tapleys a ride.

Waterhouse “said that a few days after the ride, James returned to thank him for the ride and asked if he owned any snowshoes that he could borrow,” Witham wrote. “The homeowner said that he did have snowshoes, but didn’t let Tapley borrow them. The homeowner said that he noticed Tapley eyeing things in his house.”

Waterhouse told Witham he wanted to press charges against the Tapleys, because “this has been a continuous issue,” the affidavit said.

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James Tapley

Jessica Tapley


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