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Richards Found Guilty Of Residential Entry

Last updated on Wednesday, October 3, 2012

(BEDFORD) - A Lawrence County Superior Court I jury found 48-year-old Wesley Wade Richards, of Bedford, guilty of residential entry, a Class D felony, Tuesday afternoon.

Lawrence County Deputy Prosecutor Tim Sledd proved that on December 27, 2011 Richards went to the home of Ashley Runyan in the 1500 block of 10th Street, kicked the door in and entered her home.

Runyan who was pregnant and taking a nap woke to find Richards standing in her entryway.

"I was taking a nap and heard a loud thump and then a louder bang," Runyan testified. "I got up and saw a man standing in the entry way. I yelled at him and he turned and said he was in the wrong house and ran."

Runyan then dialed 911.

It snowed that day and Bedford police officers tracked Richardson to a home in 1800 block of 11th Street. Officers found Richards inside the home of his former fiancee and arrested him.

Michelle Burris testified she was drinking coffee that morning when Richards barged into her home.

"We had broke 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 told the jury that Burris still loved Richards and was a scorned lover.

They also 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.

However Sledd told the jury they needed to use their common sense when rendering their verdict.

"The real issue is that there was one set of tracks and those tracks led to Wesley Wade Richards," Sledd said during closing arguments.

Richards will be sentenced on October 24th at 1 p.m.

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 need 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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