Jury finds woman guilty of B&E

Published 10:31 am Thursday, November 21, 2013

After a one-day trial Monday, a Lawrence County jury found a woman guilty of breaking into the home of a deceased woman.

Angela Pruitt, 31, of 9513 State Route 217, Scottown, was found guilty of the fifth-degree count of breaking and entering, although Wednesday she still maintained her innocence and asked the judge for leniency in sentencing.

J.T. Holt, attorney for Pruitt, filed a motion for Judge D. Scott Bowling to set aside the jury’s decision, saying the defense proved during the trial that the eyewitness testimonies were biased and law enforcement in the case “at best had a shoddy investigation.”

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Holt also maintained that Pruitt was not involved in the breaking and entering, to which two other co-defendants had previously pleaded guilty to being involved.

Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson maintained that the jury made its decision based on “substantial, credible and competent evidence.”

“It is the jury’s decision who they believe,” Bowling said. “The jury has spoken and I will uphold their decision.”

The matter of sentencing was also debated.

Anderson recommended Pruitt serve 11 months in prison, saying she also tested positive for opiates at a drug screen on Tuesday and could not provide a pill bottle for a pill count.

“Anything less than a prison sentence would demean the seriousness of the offense,” Anderson said.

Holt disagreed, saying Pruitt would not benefit from a prison sentence, saying she was in a relationship with one of the co-defendants at the time of the incident, which put her in a bad situation. He recommend Pruitt be placed on probation.

“I didn’t commit this crime,” Pruitt said before Bowling gave his decision. “I just hope you see that. … I was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.”

Bowling sentenced the woman to four years community control sanctions under intensive supervised probation, 300 hours community service and 12 months reserved in prison if she violates the terms of her probation.

In other cases:

• Michael Wikoff, 34, of 1141 County Road 105, Kitts Hill, admitted CCS violations that he was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Anderson said the incident seemed to be isolated and that Wikoff had otherwise followed his probation orders.

Bowling ordered the man to complete outpatient treatment at Spectrum.

• Casey Adkins, 25, of 6 Township Road 1294, Proctorville, admitted CCS violations that he failed to report to the Adult Probation Agency.

Bowling sentenced the man to one year in prison.

• Jon Thacker, 33, of 160 Township Road 508, South Point, admitted CCS violations and was sentenced to the STAR Community Justice Center Program.

• Dustin Weiher, 30, of 1707 Harlan St., Ashland, Ky., admitted CCS violations. Bowling sentenced the man to four months in prison.

Michael Maynard, 40, of 3908 County Road 15, South Point, who previously admitted CCS violations, was sentenced to 50 days in the county jail.

Maynard was also arraigned on new charges of misdemeanor theft and fifth-degree possession of drugs, to which he pleaded guilty.

Bowling sentenced the man to a total of six months in prison, to run concurrent with the CCS violation. Maynard was also ordered to pay $350 in restitution and a $1,250 fine. His driver’s license was also suspended for six months.