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January 17, 2013

Two men plead guilty to burglarizing homes in Madison County

Commonwealth recommends 20-year sentences

RICHMOND — Two men charged with burglarizing two homes last spring are facing 20 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

Daniel D. Dickerson, 22, and Conley Wayne Jones, 43, were each charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of third-degree criminal mischief. They had been scheduled to stand trial Monday.

The indictment against the two men stated they entered a home April 26 while armed with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a crime. They also intentionally damaged homeowners’ property.

The second burglary count is connected to a May 3 break-in at another home.

Because Dickerson and Jones were indicted as second-degree persistent felony offenders, meaning they each previously were convicted of a felony, they could have faced a maximum of 50 years or life in prison.

The commonwealth’s attorney’s office recommended the men serve 20 years in prison as part of the plea deal.

During the change-of-plea hearing, Jones admitted to burglarizing at least one of the homes.

“I broke in a house,” Jones said. When Judge William G. Clouse asked him about the second burglary, Jones replied, “I don’t remember; I was so high.”

Dickerson admitted he broke into the houses and stole guns.

Both men will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent, or four years, of their sentences. Clouse reminded them that being parole-eligible doesn’t mean they automatically get out of prison. The parole board will decide whether to grant conditional release.

Dickerson and Jones are scheduled for sentencing March 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Robbery defendant pleads guilty to lesser charge

A man originally charged with robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint pleaded guilty Thursday to an amended charge as part of a plea deal.

Lafess M. Chenault, 25, was accused of pointing a handgun in the taxi driver’s face on March 31 and demanding his money, according to a Richmond Police Department news release.

Chenault was charged with first-degree robbery, which carries a possible sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

On Thursday, Chenault pleaded guilty to first-degree wanton endangerment. The commonwealth’s attorney’s office recommended a sentence of five years in prison, the maximum for that charge.

Chenault will be eligible for parole after serving 15 percent of the sentence, which is about nine months.

When Clouse asked Chenault what he did, the man said he was in the car when the crime occurred.

“I guess the cab driver said he was robbed,” Chenault said.

“Did you bring a gun?” Clouse said.

“He said I did … yes,” Chenault said.

Chenault, who is represented by attorney Jimmy Dale Williams, is scheduled for sentencing March 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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