By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
Three men who were arrested and charged earlier this year in the thefts of multiple air and heating units from area churches were indicted Wednesday by a Madison County grand jury.
Devon M. Pierce, 26, James P. Richardson, 26, and Daniel R. Richardson, 23, were indicted on several counts of theft by unlawful taking (under $10,000). Pierce was indicted on 10 counts, James Richardson on nine counts and Daniel Richardson on four counts.
James and Daniel Richardson also were indicted on one count each of receiving stolen property (under $10,000).
Finally, James Richardson was indicted as a second-degree persistent felony offender.
All three men face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
The men are charged in connection with air and heating unit thefts from area churches, which are listed in the indictment: Crossroads Fellowship Church, Madison Baptist Church, Trinity Full Gospel Church, Unity Baptist church, Valley Baptist Church and New Vision Church.
Pierce and James Richardson also are charged with stealing appliances and property from a Kayla Drive apartment in Berea.
Heating and air units also were taken from the Madison Skeet Club and properties on Prince Royal Drive and Glades Road in Berea.
The thefts are alleged to have occurred during the past winter and spring, according to the indictment.
Officers from all but one police agency in Madison County were listed as witnesses for the grand jury hearing.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office worked with several other law enforcement agencies during the investigation, including the Berea and Richmond police departments and the Kentucky State Police, to identify additional victims and locations the trio may have struck, according to MSO spokesperson Deputy Willard Reardon.
Also indicted Wednesday:
• Conrad D. Smith, 28, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin), tampering with physical evidence, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance (first offense), second-degree persistent felony offender.
• Daniel R. Richardson, 24, second-degree escape and tampering with a prisoner monitoring device.
• Jacqueline F. Coffey, 45, and Dustin L. Prather, 30, conspiracy to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (oxycodone) and two counts each of conspiracy to third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (clonazepam). Prather also was indicted on charges of resisting arrest and second-degree fleeing and/or evading police.
• Charles R. Robertson, 23, and Brittany N. Rhodus, 21, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (10 dosage units of oxycodone, Class C felony) and first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (5 dosage units of oxycodone, Class D felony).
• Joanna Marcum, two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (buprenorphine).
• Logan T. Browning, 22, 18 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, theft of a controlled substance (oxycodone) and theft by unlawful taking (under $500).
• Troy L. Smith, 29, and Steven S. Murphy, 40, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (heroin), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and first-degree persistent felony offender. Murphy also was indicted on charges of felon in possession of a handgun, possession of marijuana and criminal facilitation of fourth-degree assault. Smith also was indicted on charges of fourth-degree assault and theft by unlawful taking (under $500).
A third person named in the indictment, Lashaina Coomer, 21, was charged with criminal facilitation of fourth-degree assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license. All of Coomer’s charges are misdemeanors.
Grand jury indictments do not indicate guilt, only that grand jurors believe the state has enough evidence to proceed with prosecution.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.