GEORGETOWN — Kenneth “BJ” Lunsford won’t see the outside world until the next decade.
After pleading guilty to five different charges, Lunsford, 36, of Ripley, was sentenced by Brown County Court of Common Pleas Judge Scott T. Gusweiler to a total of four years and eight months in the Ohio Department of Corrections. Lunsford was prosecuted in two different cases, one involving possession of heroin and another involving burglary and theft charges.
In the heroin case, Lunsford pleaded guilty to one count of possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony. For this case he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for count one and 12 months in prison for count two, along with restitution, with the second count running concurrently with the first count.
In the burglary case, Lunsford pleaded guilty to one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony, one count of breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony, and one count of burglary, a second-degree felony. Lunsford was sentenced to a total of three years and eight months in prison.
According to court documents as well as an investigation by the Ripley Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Lunsford was part of an alleged four-person crime ring that committed a number of burglaries in Brown County and elsewhere, likely to help maintain their drug addiction. The alleged group includes Samuel Stacy, his sister Christina Stacey, and Brandon Lang.
Court documents from the Brown County Municipal Court state that last May 15 or 16, Lunsford allegedly stole a 7,500 watt gas generator and 30 gallon electric air compressor, valued at $5,600. Lunsford then allegedly pawned those items off for $400 at a pawn shop in Cincinnati.
As part of his sentence, Lunsford was sentenced to pay restitution of $20,900 to three individuals.
Lunsford said during his sentencing hearing that despite growing up in a good group of friends, an addiction to heroin and a couple of rough turns in life sent him spiraling down.
“My girlfriend and I broke up, we had two kids together,” Lunsford said, adding that he was in despair. “I was doing well, I had a house, and a new vehicle, and I lost my house, I lost my family.”
Depending on Lunsford’s conduct, according to Gusweiler, the court could release Lunsford into the STAR Program after only one year in prison.
In a separate, unrelated case, Laura Miller, 31, of Cincinnati, was sentenced to eight years in prison and 180 days in jail for multiple burglary convictions.
Miller was arrested and booked last August, after her boyfriend and alleged partner in crime, Jeffrey Lindsey, was arrested while trying to steal a saw from a home near Mt. Orab.
According to court documents and Brown County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Zac Corbin, Miller and Lindsey committed several burglaries in Brown County, Clermont County, and Hamilton County to allegedly support their drug addiction.
According to Gusweiler and Corbin, Miller and Lindsey allegedly used Miller’s three young children as pawns in their burglary ring, having them knock on the doors of homes during the day time to see if anyone was home, before eventually breaking in if no one was around.
Gusweiler admonished Miller for her actions.
“I am so disappointed in the version of events that you gave my probation department,” Gusweiler said. “The fact that you continue to minimize using your kids as a front to break into people’s houses so you can support your heroin addict is beyond me.”
Miller read from a prepared statement to Gusweiler, saying that she would live with her actions for the rest of her life.
Upon questioning from Gusweiler, Miller said that her ex-fiance leaving her sent her in a downward spiral.
“My former fiance walked out on my three kids and I,” Miller said. “My current fiance walked in and he has prior drug convictions.”
Even with her conviction, as of press time, Miller remains in the custody of the Brown County Adult Detention Center as she begins her trial in Clermont County for more alleged burglaries.
Lindsey remains in the Brown County Jail on 17 charges, including burglary, theft, and endangering children. Lindsey’s next court date is on November 19, and a jury trial date has been set for December 9 if he does not agree to a plea bargain before then.
Also sentenced last week in separate, unrelated cases:
Anthony Cook, 26, of Mt. Orab, to 30 days in the Brown County Jail for violating the terms of his community control.
Timothy W. Freeman, 46, of Sardinia, to four years in prison for a conviction of one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a second-degree felony.
Jeremy Jennings, 35, of Felicity, to 11 months in prison for a conviction of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
Gregory Lynn Kattine II, 26, of Georgetown, to five years in prison for a conviction of aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony.