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Last updated on Thursday, October 25, 2012
(BEDFORD) - 48-year-old Wesley Wade Richards, of Bedford, was sentenced to 3 years in prison by Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins.
Richards was found guilty of residential entry, a Class D felony on October 2nd after a one day trial.
Police were called to the home of Ashley Runyan in the 1500 block of 10th Street on the snowy morning of December 27, 2011.
Runyan who was pregnant and taking a nap woke to find Richards standing in her entryway.
When police arrived they found a kicked in door and a single pair of footprints leading from that home to a home about four blocks away in the 18000 block of 11th Street. Richards answered the door. He told police he had been there sleeping and hadn't been outside. His ex-girlfriend, Michelle Burris, testified he had just arrived at the home shortly before police.
Michelle Burris testified she was drinking coffee that morning when Richards barged into her home.
"We had broken up and he was no longer living there," Burris testified. "He was out of breath and I asked him why he was there but he wouldn't answer me."
Burris testified that Richards took off his wet clothes and climbed into bed.
"A few minutes later, Bedford police were knocking on the door," she testified. "I asked him what he did and he wouldn't answer me. I told him to go to the door and turn himself in."
However Public Defenders Lorinda Youngcourt and Dan Andis proved that some of the evidence used was gathered 9 months after the crime was committed and police did not file a police report when Runyon failed to identify Richards from a photo lineup.
After Richards was found guilty, the prosecution filed a habitual offender charge and a second trial was held.
However, shortly after the trial began, Judge Michael Robbins acquitted Richards after the state failed to provide adequate evidence to support the charge.
To be found guilty as a habitual offender the state must prove three prior felony convictions.
The state presented evidence from a November 1986 conviction for burglary and a July 1989 conviction for robbery and burglary, both in California. They also had evidence from an August 2007 conviction of burglary in Ohio.
Youngcourt and Andis objected to the evidence and after taking some time to review the evidence and the law, Robbins agreed, ruling the state did not have the proof needed to prove the prior felony convictions.
Robbins ruled the paperwork on those prior arrests and convictions failed to properly identify Richards as the person convicted of the crimes and that another was incomplete because it did not list the date of the arrest or conviction.
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