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Owen grand jury indicts alleged copper culprits

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By Molly Haines

Two Owen County men were recently indicted after allegedly stealing copper wire from several barns around the community.
Bud C. Smith, 36 and Justin L. Smith, 20, were each charged with five counts of third-degree burglary and five counts of unlawful taking or disposition of property with a value of $500 or more.
The incidents began taking place in November 2010 and continued through Jan. 25.
According to a criminal complaint filed at the Owen County Circuit Clerk’s Office Jan. 27, the two stole copper wire, white buckets and feed sacks from a barn belonging to Oscar Wyrick. The two were together when copper wiring matching the description of the wiring stolen from Wyrick’s barn was sold at Owen County Metal Recycling on Jan. 25.
Owen County Sheriff Zemer Hammond said the investigation leading to the arrests had been taking place for about a month.
“The one we were finally able to catch up with them on was where they stole from Oscar Wyrick,” Hammond said. “They took the copper over to (Owen County Metal Recycling) and cashed it in. They had them on camera there.”
The two also left a white bucket and a feed sack at Owen County Metal Recycling, which Wyrick identified as belonging to him.
According to the indictments, four other incidents took place, where copper wire was allegedly stolen from barns.
Hammond said all of the alleged incidents took place around the New Columbus area.
Both Bud and Justin Smith are in jail with a $10,000 cash bond.
The two are expected to appear in the Owen County Circuit Court Feb. 22.
The Owen County grand jury also handed down two other indictments.
Evan Patrick Kidd, 27, was charged with first-degree burglary, receiving stolen property and second-degree persistent felony offender.
According to the indictment on the charge of first-degree burglary, he knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in the dwelling of another, and when effecting entry, or while in said dwelling, or in the immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant was armed with a deadly weapon; on the charge of receiving stolen property, he received, retained or disposed of movable property of another, namely a handgun(s)/firearm(s), knowing they had been stolen; on the charge of second-degree persistent felony offender, he is more than 21 years of age and stands convicted of a felony after having been convicted of a prior felony.
If convicted on all charges, he would face up to 75 years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
A bench warrant was set for $10,000.
Jeffrey W. McRoberts, 58, was also indicted. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree persistent felony offender.
According to the indictment on the charge of first-degree sexual abuse, he had sexual contact with a person under 12, and/or through the use of forcible compulsion; on the charge of first-degree persistent felony offender, he is more than 21 years of age and stands convicted of a felony after having been convicted of two or more previous felonies.
If convicted on both charges, he would face up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
A bench warrant was set for $10,000.
 

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