The Richmond Register

January 17, 2013

Man linked to damage at New Opportunity School is indicted

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — A Louisville man was indicted Wednesday in connection with the burglary of the New Opportunity School For Women in Berea in December 2011.

Gary C. Davidson was indicted on two counts of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony.

In November 2012, Berea Police charged Davidson, 30, in connection with a fire that gutted the school’s building.

Davidson originally was charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree arson after a nearly yearlong investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

Davidson admitted to detectives that he broke into the school in the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2011, according to a news release from the Berea Police Department.

A witness noticed the fire at 2:36 a.m. and called 911. Damage to the building was extensive, as it completely destroyed all equipment and furnishings inside.

A security camera on a neighboring building captured video of the suspect, and officers recognized Davidson “from previous dealings with him,” the police news release stated.

If convicted on both counts, Davidson could serve a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The New Opportunity School for Women was created in 1987 to help Appalachian women become better educated and employed. More then 580 women have completed the school’s three-week residential program, and even more women have benefitted from the program’s career and education outreach and counseling, according to the NOSW website.

Other indictments:

• Tyler H. Adams, 23, of Berea, two counts of second-degree burglary, a Class C felony. If convicted, Adams could face up to 10 years on each count.

• Brandon D. Smith, 31, of Richmond, third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. If convicted, Smith could serve up to five years in prison.

• Dusty D. Dunaway, 32, of Richmond, three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony. If convicted, Dunaway could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

• Robert Lee Gadd Jr., theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, a Class C felony. If convicted, Gadd could serve up to 10 years in prison.

• Shawn Noe, 27, of Richmond, first-degree bail jumping, a Class D felony, and first-degree persistent persistent felony offender. The second charge enhances the bail-jumping charge to a Class B felony status. If convicted on all charges, Noe could serve up to 20 years in prison.

• Charges against Jessica Bowling, 26, of Richmond, were dropped by the grand jurors. Bowling originally was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

• Charges against Justin Dobbs, 23, of Berea, also were dropped. Dobbs originally was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment, resisting arrest, third-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree disorderly conduct.

An indictment is a formal statement of charges and does not imply guilty, only that grand jurors believe the state has enough evidence to prosecute.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.

Register News Writer Sarah Hogsed contributed to this story.