James Cory Utter

James Cory Utter

An Etowah County man charged with second-degree sodomy three years ago pleaded guilty Friday, according to a social media post from the Limestone County District Attorney's Office.

James Cory Utter, 31, of 1118 Fourth Ave., Gadsden, was sentenced to eight years in prison following his plea, the statement said. Utter had previously pleaded not guilty by reason of disease or defect in May 2017.

In June 2016, Athens police were contacted by police in Southside about a missing 12-year-old girl. Southside police asked for Athens' help in tracking the suspect, whom they identified as Utter.

Utter reportedly bought a car in Southside “a few days” before the incident. Southside police used the sales records to track him to Athens.

While Athens officers went to the home, Southside police were able to activate the vehicle's GPS system and pinpoint the car at the intersection of U.S. 72 and Jefferson Street.

Police located Utter at Hardee's, near the intersection. Police Chief Floyd Johnson previously told The News Courier that Utter and the victim had met through social media.