BEDFORD – Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III enhanced Scott Afanador’s guilty conviction of a Level 6 felony of auto theft to a Level 5 felony and found him guilty of being a habitual offender.
Judge John Plummer III held two bench trials after the jury found Afanador guilty of auto theft.
Afanador is being represented by Public Defender Denise Turner and Chief Public Defender Bruce Andis. Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra are presenting the case for the state.
Afanador was arrested on August 6, 2020, by Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Lonnie Johnson after he was called to a home 8850 block of State Road 150 after a report of a suspicious vehicle in a driveway and someone knocking on the caller’s door.
Sgt. Johnson found Afanador exiting the driveway in a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu that had been reported stolen from the parking lot of Brawley Group on College Mall Road in Bloomington on August 4, 2020.
During the arrest, 44-year-old Afanador repeatedly told the officer he had borrowed the vehicle from a woman named Tabitha Carpenter.
The once gold vehicle was partially painted white.
The jury found Afanador guilty of a charge of auto theft, a Level 6 felony.
During the first bench trial, Rachel Scott, a probation officer for Monroe County, testified she was his probation officer. Afanador was convicted in West Virginia and had his case transferred to Monroe County.
He was then convicted on November 26, 2019 on a charge of auto theft in Monroe County.
Judge Plummer ruled that Afanador’s new conviction should be enhanced to a Level 5 felony.
“The state has met their burden…Within 6 1/2 months after judgement of conviction on auto theft, this new jury convicted him of the same charge,” said Judge Plummer.
The third part of the trial was to determine if Afanador was a habitual offender. The prosecution must prove that Afanador was convicted of two unrelated felonies prior to this new conviction of auto theft.
The state proved that Afanador was convicted on January 26, 2020 on a felony charge of forgery and on July 14, 2012 on a charge of a felon carrying a handgun without a license.
Judge Plummer found Afanador guilty of being a habitual offender.
Sentencing is set for April 27 at 1 p.m. but may be moved due to congestion of the court calendar and the priority of other jury trials that were put on hold due to COVID-19.