Two plead to breaking and entering charges

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 3, 2007

A West Virginia woman and a Kentucky woman, both accused in connection with break-ins at Lawrence County residences, both entered guilty pleas Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Rebecca Mutters, 37, of Huntington, W.Va., pleaded guilty to two counts of complicity to breaking and entering stemming from two incidents in 2005. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced her to four years community controlled sanctions under intensive supervised probation.

The indictment alleged Mutters “aided or abetted” Raymond Meredith, who broke into two houses in the eastern end of the county in January 2005. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson told Cooper that while Mutters was not the ringleader in the crimes, “She knew what was going on and benefited from the thefts.”

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Her attorney, Philip Heald, told Cooper that while Mutters takes the blame for what she did, her relationship with Meredith contributed to her situation. Since getting away from Meredith, his client has stayed out of trouble.

“She is, I believe, a person who would not give the probation department a moment’s concern. I don’t think she will give anyone any problems,” Heald said.

Mutters told Cooper she has had no contact with Meredith in the last two and a half years and has been in a rehabilitation program.

Mutters said Meredith abused her and led her into a life she wouldn’t have participated in otherwise.

“He had me under his spell,” she said. “He abused me. He beat me. When I went into rehab I had black eyes, broken ribs. It was like I was kidnapped.”

Also Wednesday, Beth Harper, 18, of Greenup, Ky., pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of burglary. She was sentenced to four years in prison. However, Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said the prosecutor’s office will not oppose judicial release after one year if Harper is admitted to a community based correctional facility (CBCF). Harper’s attorney, Derick Fisher, asked Judge Richard Walton to allow the Harpers a brief supervised visit before they are each sent to prison. Walton said such a visit would likely be arranged through the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, since both Harpers are in jail. Fisher said he had spoke with representatives from the sheriff’s office and they advised the judge needed to approve the visit.

Harper’s husband. John, pleaded guilty last week to his part in the break-in.