Mercer court gives Christmas gift thieves jail time

November 10, 2004|ANN HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - A couple who were caught on surveillance tape last December stealing Christmas gifts were sentenced Tuesday in Mercer Circuit Court.

Joseph and Rebecca Wilson were caught on tape as they burglarized the home of the Bruce Ashford family on Sexton Lane. Personal items and electronics, all valued at more than $1,400, were taken.

Joseph Wilson pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking over $300 and second-degree persistent felony offender charges. Through a plea bargain with the commonwealth's attorney's office, he was sentenced to 15 years.

He waived final sentencing Tuesday morning and accepted the sentence handed down by Circuit Judge Darren Peckler.

Susanne McCollough, a public defender representing Joseph Wilson, said these were the first of similar charges filed in five other counties: Bourbon, Clark, Garrard, Jessamine and Lincoln counties. Many of the offenses occurred around Christmas.


Rebecca Wilson had already pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking over $300. She was sentenced to six years Tuesday afternoon. Public defender Ted Dean, who represents Rebecca Wilson, said she also has charges in Bourbon and Clark counties. Joseph Wilson was being held in the Lexington-Fayette County Detention Center because local jails were unable to handle him. Earlier Tuesday, Mercer County Fiscal Court agreed to pay a $2,000 bill to the Lexington lockup for housing him. "He was charged in several different counties and after he came back from court appearances, he'd come back with different issues," said Capt. Phillip Yates of the Boyle County Detention Center.

"Small jails are not set up for people with behavioral problems," Yates said. "Fayette County has cells where they can be observed around the clock. Every cell he was in here, he caused problems with other inmates and transport officers."

A court appearance in Lincoln County resulted in Wilson's escape. He was later captured.

Rebecca Wilson remains an inmate in the Boyle County jail.

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