Kentucky resident pleads to burglary

Published 10:52 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

The second person from a quartet of alleged burglars arrested this summer has admitted her part in the string of crimes and will spend 10 years in prison for it.

Sara Branham, 23, of Raceland, Ky., pleaded guilty Thursday to a four-count complicity to burglary indictment.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Cooper sentenced Branham to 10 years in prison — the same sentence cohort Ranae Schwab received when she pleaded guilty the day before.

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Branham, Schwab, 26, of 1021 S. Sixth St., Ironton, and two men, William Sexton, 26, of 204 1⁄2 Mastin Ave., Ironton and Shon Williams, 24, of 1208 S. Second St., Ironton, were all arrested this summer in connection with several daytime robberies in the Pedro and Kitts Hill areas.

The four told police they would go to homes they wanted to burgle and knock to see if anyone would open the door.

If the knock was answered, they would pretend they were looking for someone else. If no one was home they would break in. Cases are pending against Williams and Sexton.

Burglary and theft were common complaints on this week’s court docket.

On Wednesday, Christopher Hale, 20, of 503 Third St., E., South Point, pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary, one count of grand theft from the elderly, three counts of theft from an elderly person and one count of tampering with evidence.

Cooper sentenced him to a total of four years in prison at the request of the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Mack Anderson said one of the reasons Hale received only a four-year sentence is that he cooperated with authorities.

“I apologize for the allegations that are against me,” Hale told Cooper. “I thank the prosecutor’s office and you, yourself, sir, for letting me spend time with my family before I have to go.”

Brenda Stepp, 38, 1365 County Road 1, South Point, pleaded guilty to one count of felony breaking and entering and four counts of misdemeanor theft.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced her to a total of six months in prison and ordered her to pay $300 in restitution to one of her victims.

“On her behalf I think this has been a learning and growing experience for her,” Stepp’s attorney, Philip Heald, said. “I know she is quite remorseful for the things she has been involved in. I would predict that from here on out, she will have a law-abiding life.”

Walter G. Plumley, 32, of 26 Private Drive 385, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to one count of attempt to commit felonious assault.

He had been initially charged with felonious assault but that charge was amended to the lesser one. Bowling sentenced him to five years community control sanctions (CCS) and ordered him to pay $5,981.18 to his victim. Once the restitution is paid in full, his CCS will end.

Plumley is accused of assaulting an ex-girlfriend. He apologized to her Wednesday just before he was sentenced and said his trip through the criminal justice sentence had been difficult.

“I’m tired,” he said. “I just want to get this over with and move on with my life.”