In this week's mugshot round-up, Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders weighs in on what was quite a busy week and answers a couple more questions about the long list of people sent away to prison, put on probation, or who skipped out on court last week.
RCN: Looks like 37 convictions last week which seems like a lot more than usual. Was last week busier than usual for some reason?
SANDERS:It's probably on the higher end of average. One judge had an extra heavy docket because of being out of town the week before. Another had an extra day of dockets but that's a regularly scheduled "extra" docket just to keep the caseload under control. Our caseload is consistently busy. The number of cases you see in the newsletter usually just depends on how many cases the courts schedule in a given week. If the newsletter looks light on cases, it's usually because one of the judges was out of town or didn't have a docket for some reason.
RCN: Every week it seems like someone's getting put away for using some sort of a forged instrument. What is a forged instrument?
SANDERS: Forged instruments are fraudulent documents of some sort. The most common is a check that is signed by someone other than the account holder. Usually the checks are stolen in a burglary, car break-in, or purse snatching. They can also be forged driver's licenses or other government ID's. It also includes fake US currency.
RCN: Any one of these convictions stand out as more important than the others?
SANDERS: Easily the most significant case in the newsletter this week is Tramonte Rice. His mugshot doesn't appear because he's a juvenile and we dont get mugshots of juveniles. Mr. Rice was 1/2 of the tandem responsible for the murder of DreShawn Hammond. He pled guilty months ago but wasn't sentenced until after he testified against his co-defendant, Mikel Crumes, who was convicted two weeks ago in a jury trial. We put off sentencing like that because it's the only way to enforce plea agreements that require testimony against a co-defendant. If we sentenced him before his testimony, he could say anything he wanted and we couldn't change his sentence because of double jeopardy protection in the Constitution.
Another case of note is Jesse Simpson. It's only a D felony but he's 1 of 2 defendants charged with possessing all the toys stolen from the US Marine's Toys-for-Tots warehouse in Ohio. He pled guilty without a plea agreement, knowing I'm going to recommend the maximum sentence. Anybody that steals from Toys-for-Tots deserves nothing less than the max. And he'd better hope the Marines don't find him when he gets out.
To see the faces and read about the cases click: This Week in Kenton Co. Court